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Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Sunday, 18 January 2009
Gaza crisis: key maps and timeline



A day-by-day account of violence in Gaza and Israel since the offensive began on 27 December 2008.

SUNDAY 18 JANUARY

Gaza: Within hours of the ceasefire beginning, at least 18 rockets are fired into Israel, Israeli sources said, triggering an Israeli air strike in response.

Syria: Hamas' deputy chief Moussa Abou Marzouk announces a one-week ceasefire, demanding Israeli troops withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

SATURDAY 17 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announces a unilateral end to offensive military operations in the Gaza Strip, beginning at 2400 GMT.

Israeli government sources said the ceasefire deal did not involve Hamas.

More than 50 air strikes were carried out in Gaza overnight, ahead of the expected vote by Israel's cabinet on a proposal for a ceasefire. Heavy explosions echoed south of Gaza City.

United Nations officials say two children, aged five and seven, were killed when Israeli tank fire hit a UN school where hundreds had taken shelter in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

A UN spokesman, Chris Gunness, said an investigation ought to be held "to determine whether a war crime has been committed". Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor rejected the call, saying: "There's not the slightest piece of evidence to support such allegations."

FRIDAY 16 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Israel conducts some 40 overnights air strikes against militants, tunnels and a mosque suspected of being used as a weapons store, the army says.

The bodies of 23 people are pulled from the rubble in the Tel al-Hawa district of Gaza City after Israeli tanks withdraw in the pre-dawn hours. Palestinian medics say at least 1,155 Palestinians have died over the past three weeks.

West Bank: The Israeli army locks down the West Bank for 48 hours after Hamas calls for a day of "wrath" for the killing of Hamas interior minister Said Siyam in Gaza. A teenager is killed in Hebron in clashes between protesters and Israeli forces.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah before continuing to Turkey on a regional tour aimed at securing a truce.

Israel: About 10 rockets are launched from Gaza into southern Israel, but cause no injuries, the Israeli army says. Israeli officials say the security cabinet could vote on Saturday on a proposal for a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza.

Washington, DC: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni travels to Washington to sign a memorandum on joint efforts to halt weapons smuggling along the Gaza-Egypt border, a key demand of the Israeli government.

THURSDAY 15 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: A top Hamas leader, Said Siyam, is killed along with his son, brother and two other Hamas officials when his brother's house is bombed.

Israeli tanks and troops advance deep into Gaza City after an intense bombardment in the early hours, sending hundreds of terrified civilians into the streets to try to flee the fighting.

Tonnes of aid go up in flames after Israeli artillery shells hit a UN compound. The Quds hospital is evacuated because of a fire caused by a tank shell.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meets Israeli leaders to push for a ceasefire. He says the death toll, put at 1,100 by Gaza medical officials, has reached an "unbearable point".

Southern Israel: At least 14 rockets are fired from Gaza after early morning, severely damaging a house in Sderot, Israeli media reports.

WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Israel's bombardment continues for a 19th day, with overnight air raids on 60 targets, including 35 weapons-smuggling tunnels on the border with Egypt and an unknown number of rocket-launching sites. One air strike damages a cemetery in Gaza City.

Northern Israel: Police say three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona. The missiles land on open ground, and there are no reports of injuries or damage.

Lebanese security officials tell the Associated Press news agency that the Israeli army fired eight shells into southern Lebanon in retaliation.

In Cairo to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, UN chief Ban Ki-moon repeats his call for an immediate ceasefire.

TUESDAY 13 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Israel's land, sea and air bombardment continues for an 18th day, with shelling and air raids hitting Gaza City, Rafah and elsewhere. Israel's military says it hit 60 targets overnight.

Ground troops advance into the southern and eastern suburbs of Gaza City. The Israeli military says an officer and two soldiers are injured by an explosion in a booby-trapped house in the northern Gaza Strip.

Shelling is reported during a three-hour ceasefire held to allow Palestinians to seek food, water and other supplies.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak makes an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia where he discusses the Gaza situation with King Abdullah.

US Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration will make "every effort" to forge Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Southern Israel: The Israeli army says 25 mortars and rockets have been fired out of Gaza.

MONDAY 12 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Israeli forces move slowly into the most densely populated areas, reports say, while airstrikes continue across the Strip. There are reports of fierce fighting around Gaza City.

During Sunday night, Israel says it carried out 12 air strikes - a much lower number than recent nights, which have seen between 30 and 60 strikes.

The Israeli air force said it attacked four weapon stores in houses, three tunnels and five "Hamas operatives". The Golani infantry brigade reported hitting a number of armed gunman.

Southern Israel: Nearly 30 rockets and mortars are fired at Israel from Gaza during the day, but there are no reports of injuries. A house is hit in Ashkelon. No rocket attacks are reported overnight.

SUNDAY 11 JANUARY
Gaza Strip: Israel says more than 60 targets were attacked overnight and bombs continue to fall during the morning. Targets included Fadila mosque in Rafah and a Hamas-run school in the southern border region. A Hamas military leader's house was destroyed in the Shujaia neighbourhood in southern Gaza City. Tank fire hits homes in Beit Lahiya, killing at least six civilians, and Nusseirat, killing one.

Israeli ground troops push deeper into heavily populated areas around Gaza City with reports of fierce clashes in the southern suburb of Sheikh Ajleen.

There are reports of dozens of civilians wounded in shelling of village of Khouza, near Khan Younis. Palestinian medics say injuries indicate use of white phosphorus weapons. Israel denies using "illegal weaponry".

Hamas militants launch rockets at the Israeli city of Beersheba and the town of Sderot, with no reports of injuries.

SATURDAY 10 JANUARY
Gaza Strip: The Israeli military attacks more than 70 Hamas targets on Saturday, following 40 overnight air strikes. Clashes are reported north and east of Jabaliya refugee camp, where a tank shell hits a house, reportedly killing eight people.

Southern Israel: Israel says more than 30 rockets are fired by Palestinian militants, including four which hit the Israeli town of Ashkelon, injuring two people.

Gaza City: Israeli ground troops are reported to have moved closer to the edge of the city.

FRIDAY 9 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Bombs continue to pound the territory as Israel's offensive enters a 14th day. Israel says it launched 50 strikes overnight. Palestinian medics say the death toll in Gaza has now reached 800.

The main UN agency working in Gaza, Unrwa, says it will resume aid deliveries after receiving safety assurances from the Israeli military. Operations were suspended after one of Unrwa's drivers was killed.

At least six Palestinians are reported killed in Beit Lahiya after their house was struck by Israeli fire.

Gaza City: Witnesses tell the UN that about 30 Palestinians were killed earlier this week when Israeli forces shelled a house into which Israeli soldiers had earlier moved about 100 people, many of them children. Israel denies the allegation.

Southern Israel: Rockets fired from Gaza hit the towns of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beersheba. No casualties are reported. The Israeli military says two rockets were fired during the three-hour pause to allow in humanitarian aid, and it responded.

THURSDAY 8 JANUARY
Gaza Strip: Israel continues its offensive, with the army saying 60 air strikes were launched overnight.

The army says it targeted Hamas smuggling tunnels near Rafah, police sites, weapons storage facilities and gunmen.

At least 10 people, including civilians, are killed, Palestinian medics say.

One person is killed and two injured when a fork-lift truck on a UN aid mission is hit by Israeli tank fire at the Erez crossing, the UN relief agency Unrwa says. It later suspends all its operations in Gaza.

The house of a Hamas military commander, Mohammed al-Senwar, in Khan Younis is destroyed in an air strike, witnesses say. Palestinian sources say a mosque was also hit.

One Israeli soldier is killed in a gun battle in Gaza, the Israeli army says.

Southern Israel: Rockets fired from Gaza hit residential area in Ashkelon but cause no injuries.

Northern Israel: Several rockets are fired from Lebanon, landing on or near the town of Nahariya and slightly injuring two people. The Israeli army responds with artillery rounds.

Israel resumes its attacks following a three-hour pause to allow in humanitarian aid.

WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Israeli forces launch 40 air strikes overnight. Dozens more targets are attacked during the day, the Israeli military says. Israeli planes bomb the Gaza-Egypt border area after dropping leaflets on the town of Rafah warning residents to leave.

In all, at least 20 people are reported killed in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say at least 683 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,085 injured since the conflict began.

Israel: Israel halts attacks on Gaza for three hours in the first of what it says will be a daily ceasefire to allow residents to seek food and for the dead to be buried. Eighty trucks carrying supplies are allowed into Gaza. Fighting stops at about 1100 GMT and witnesses report fresh violence shortly after 1400 GMT.

Southern Israel: The Israeli military says more than 20 rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel over the day. No casualties are reported.

TUESDAY 6 JANUARY

Gaza Strip: Fighting along length of coastal enclave as Israel's ground assault enters its fourth day.

At least 40 people were killed - including children - and 55 injured when Israeli artillery shells landed outside a United Nations-run al-Fakhura school in the Jabaliya refugee camp. UN officials said the school was being used as a refuge for hundreds of people. Israel said its soldiers had come under fire from militants inside the school. A spokesman for Hamas denied there had been any hostile fire coming from the school.

[Update: In February 2009, the United Nations said that a clerical error had led it to report that Israeli mortars had struck a UN-run school in Jabaliya, Gaza, on 6 January killing about 40 people. Maxwell Gaylord, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Jerusalem, said that the Israeli Defense Force mortars fell in the street near the compound, and not on the compound itself. He said that the UN "would like to clarify that the shelling and all of the fatalities took place outside and not inside the school".]

Israeli forces reportedly widen their attacks to include Khan Younis in the south, after heavy fighting on the edges of the Deir al-Balah refugee camp in central Gaza.

Gaza City: Heavy fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants on the outskirts of a northern district, where pre-dawn skies were lit up by flares as helicopter gunships pounded militant positions.

Rafah: Reports of an Israeli air raid on the main crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Northern Gaza: At least 18 Palestinians killed. Three Israeli soldiers killed by fire from Israeli tank.

In all, at least 70 Palestinians and five Israeli soldiers were killed during the day.

MONDAY 5 JANUARY
Gaza Strip: The Israeli army says it has hit 40 targets, including several tunnels and the homes of a number of Hamas officials. Hospitals say they are overwhelmed by casualties, mostly civilians including women and children. Ground forces enter the edges of the urban area of Beit Lahiya.

Gaza City: Heavy clashes are reported east of the city, and hundreds of people head further into the city centre to escape the fighting. A BBC producer in the city's main hospital says he has seen 900 people being treated there. Doctors say they are running short of vital medical supplies.

SUNDAY 4 JANUARY
Gaza Strip: Witnesses report clashes around the towns of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya refugee camp. Witnesses also report Israeli troops in the Zeitoun area, and that the main north-south road is blocked. Israeli troops take control of the site of the former Jewish settlement of Netzarim.
Gaza City: Many civilians killed when shells fall near a school and a market, Palestinian sources say.
Beit Lahiya: Twelve civilians killed by a tank shell, witnesses say.
South Israel: At least 25 short-range rockets fired, mainly on Sderot, Netivot and other towns near the Gaza border. One woman is slightly injured in Sderot.

SATURDAY 3 JANUARY
Gaza Strip: Israeli troops enter northern Gaza, initiating a much-anticipated ground offensive. Hours earlier, Israel fired artillery shells across the border for first time since the offensive began.
Gaza City: One of the leaders of Hamas's military wing, Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, was killed in an overnight raid.
South Israel: At least 20 Palestinian rockets landed, including in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Sderot. No casualties were reported but a house in Ashkelon was hit.
Beit Lahiya: At least 10 Palestinians were killed by an Israeli strike on a mosque, local medical sources said. Earlier, a caretaker was killed in a raid which destroyed large parts of the town's American school.

FRIDAY 2 JANUARY
Khan Younis: Three Palestinian children killed in Israeli air strike.
Jabaliya: A mosque described by Israeli security officials as a "terror hub" used to stockpile weapons, was destroyed.
Ashkelon: Hamas fired more than 20 rockets into Israel, with some landing in the port town of Ashkelon. No casualties were reported.

THURSDAY 1 JANUARY

Gaza City: The Justice Ministry, Legislative Assembly, Civil Defense Building, Education ministry were hit, as well as at least two money changers' offices and a workshop.
Jabaliya: A senior Hamas leader, Nizar Rayyan, was killed in an air strike along with at least nine people, including several members of his family.
South Israel: More than 30 rockets fired, including at least one landing in Ashdod and two in Beersheba.

WEDNESDAY 31 DECEMBER
Gaza City: Office of former Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and other Hamas buildings attacked.
Israeli aircraft continue to strike tunnels near the border with Egypt.
Beersheba: Hit by Hamas rockets for a second day, but no casualties reported.

TUESDAY 30 DECEMBER

Beit Hanoun: Two girls killed in an air strike.
Gaza City: At least three buildings in ministry compound hit.
Ashdod: Woman killed in rocket attack
Beersheba: Attacked by rockets fired from Gaza, the furthest into Israel a Palestinian missile has ever reached.

MONDAY 29 DECEMBER

Nahal Oz: Israeli soldier killed and five others wounded at unspecified military base near a border crossing.
Gaza City: Interior Ministry and Islamic University at Tel al-Hawa badly damaged in air strike.
Home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniya at Shati refugee camp targeted.
Ashkelon: One man killed and several other people injured in rocket attack.

SUNDAY 28 DECEMBER

Jabaliya: Several people killed at a mosque - including five sisters - in air attack at the refugee camp.
Yabna refugee camp: Civilian family reported killed
Rafah: Three brothers reported killed.
Khan Younis: Four members of Islamic Jihad and a child reported killed.
Ashdod: Palestinian rockets hit the city, the first attack so far north.
Deir al-Balah: Palestinians injured, houses and buildings destroyed.
Israeli planes strike tunnels running between Egypt and Gaza.
Naval vessels targeted at Gaza City port and intelligence building attacked.

SATURDAY 27 DECEMBER

Gaza City, Rafah, Khan Younis: Israel launches a wave of air and missile attacks on targets across Gaza. Some 225 people are killed, according to local medics. Most are policemen within the Hamas militant movement; police chief Tawfik Jaber is among the dead. Women and children also died, according to officials in Gaza.
Netivot: One man killed, several injured in Palestinian rocket attack.



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