CPI (M) activists protest against Israel's offensive on Gaza

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New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI (M) activists staged a protest here on Tuesday over the Israeli bombings against Gaza.

Birnda Karat, Polit Bureau member of CPI (M), who was leading the demonstration, said that the protest was staged to express the anger of Indian people over Israel's barbaric torture and offensive on Gaza strip.

Karat also maintained that India should sever ties with Israel.

Israel hit the Gaza Strip with more air strikes on Tuesday and warned its military action could last weeks, while its Islamist enemy Hamas vowed to keep up rocket attacks on Israeli cities.

Both sides rejected any notion of a cease-fire soon, three days after Israeli leaders launched bombing raids with the declared aim of halting rocket salvoes from the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel, which is blockading Gaza, was gathering ground forces at the frontier and would expand its operation "as much as is necessary" to stop the rocket fire and "deal a heavy blow to Hamas."

Israeli warplanes pressed on for the fourth day with attacks on Hamas targets, killing 12 Palestinians. They included sisters aged four and 11. Several rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel, a day after three Israelis were killed in cross-border salvos.

Medical officials put Palestinian casualties since Saturday at 348 dead with more than 800 wounded. A United Nations agency said at least 62 of the dead were civilians. In all, four Israelis have been killed since the operation began.

Israeli media quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying the Gaza operation, launched by his centrist government six weeks before a national election that opinion polls predict the right-wing Likud party will win, was in "the first of several stages." (ANI)

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