Israeli Forces Push toward Heart of Gaza

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ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER - Thousands of reservists joined Israel's Gaza force this weekend, as Israeli soldiers pushed toward the heart of Gaza City.

The military campaign is now in its third week, and despite global demands for a cease-fire, the fighting continues.

Israel Slows Down Hamas Attacks

Israel hasn't stopped the rockets coming from Gaza, but it has destroyed enough of Hamas's fighting force to slow down the attacks.

Hamas fired 24 rockets into Israel Sunday, about half the number it was able to launch in previous days of fighting. Two of the rockets hit a kindergarten and a playground, but both were empty.

Inside the Gaza Strip, Israel says it killed nearly 50 Hamas members Sunday, in the heaviest street fighting of the campaign.

Diplomatic Chill

Israelis are feeling more isolated diplomatically after a cease-fire vote in the U.N. Security Council last week which the U.S. refused to veto.

But at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert defied Israel's critics around the world and suggested Israel will keep fighting to dismantle Hamas.

"We have never agreed that anyone should decide in our place if we are allowed to strike at those who bomb our kindergartens and schools," Olmert said. "Nor will we ever agree to it…"

Israel has not yet decided whether to launch the third phase of its attack: a search for Hamas in the densely packed refugee camps and in the center of Gaza City.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief

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