Press TV 
Saturday, Jan 11, 2008
Israeli white phosphorous shells kill three and injure 60 others on the 16th consecutive day of Israeli offensive against Gaza, medics say.
Palestinian medic said the incident took place after Israeli tank fire hit east of Khan Yunis early on Sunday.
The latest deaths took the number of those killed in the US-backed Israeli offensive against Gaza to 857. More than 3500 other people have also been wounded.
According to UN figures at least one thirds of those killed in the conflict are children.
(Article continues below)
The development comes as Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal said hours before in a televised speech that the movement would not accept any truce without the withdrawal of all Israeli forces, the lifting of the blockade and the opening of all border crossings.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“We, with an open mind, will deal with any initiatives and decisions based on these three requests. Therefore, we will not accept any negotiations for a truce in light of a military campaign and a siege.”
Israel has rejected UN Resolution 1860 that calls for an immediate end to the onslaught, which Tel Aviv launched on December 27.
Israeli officials had initially said that Operation Cast Lead would aim to stop Hamas’ “retaliatory” rocket attacks, but later admitted that the main objective of the assault was to topple the democratically elected Hamas government.
The Palestinian coastal silver has been under a tight blockade a short time after the Hamas movement-which does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state– won an overwhelming victory in 2006 parliamentary elections.
Israel launched the military campaign against the impoverished coastal strip after a recent Israeli National Security Council assessment urged Tel Aviv to hinder “elections in the Palestinian Authority” because the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Authority might lead to Hamas victory.