Terror as Israel, Hamas trade fire

STACEY KIRK AND AGENCIES
Last updated 21:04 20/11/2012

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Gaza truce unclear, attacks continue Gaza violence rages Gaza conflict November 2012

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Nowhere in Gaza is safe from Israel's bombs, says a New Zealand activist living there.

The Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip is going into its seventh day, with officials signalling a land invasion could be imminent though they would prefer a diplomatic solution to end Palestinian rocket fire.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is being sent to the Middle East for talks with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders to seek a de-escalation of the violence in Gaza.

Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes have killed more than 100 people in the conflict.

Israel has been firing rockets into the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory.

Speaking via Skype while military drones could be heard hovering over her house, activist and freelance journalist Julie Webb-Pullman, who has been living in Gaza since June last year, said it was an "absolutely terrifying" place to be.

"We are being rocked by bombs every 15 minutes ... I was just woken up at 6am by a massive explosion that apparently killed three people.

"The whole building rocked so it must have been about 500 yards from my house."

Webb-Pullman said the reality of the attacks was far from what was being reported.

"Nowhere in Gaza is safe, people are being killed just walking down the street and you have to go to the shop and you have to do things like that. "

Three Israeli civilians and 108 Palestinians have so far been killed. Gaza officials say more than half of those killed in the enclave were civilians, 27 of them children, Reuters said.

Webb-Pullman said yesterday a group of people were targeted by an Israeli drone which killed a nine-year-old girl and her brother.

"It's a crime against humanity what's occurring, kids are being targeted, [Sunday] alone 31 people were killed - 10 of those children, six were women and five were babies and toddlers," she said.

"They are not military targets, they are civilians. Israel is committing war crimes plain and simple."

Webb-Pullman said a 30:1 ratio of Gazans being killed to Israelis made it clear "who was the aggressor in the matter".

Palestinians were being pushed into a corner, she said.

"And if you're pushed into a corner you do what you can. [Palestinians] will continue resisting with every last breath in their body, and if a person in Gaza is killed by an Israeli that just guarantees another 50 to replace them.

"Every time somebody is killed it enrages the population so much that anybody who was on the fence before then becomes extremely motivated to defend the blood of their dead."

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed only one New Zealander registered as being in Gaza, and has issued an "extreme risk" advisory warning all New Zealanders to leave the country.

Webb-Pullman said she wouldn't be going anywhere, despite two recent attacks on media buildings in the last two days.

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