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Last Updated: Wednesday January 07 2009 08:24 GMT

Pressure grows for peace in Gaza

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BBC expert on Middle East violence

There's growing pressure to end the violence in Gaza in the Middle East after at least 30 people were killed when a school was attacked by Israelis.

Israel has been bombing Gaza over the past 12 days because it says it wants to stop the armed group Hamas firing rocket missiles into their country.

World leaders have been trying really hard to restore peace to the area.

So far, neither side is willing to back down but Israel has now said it will stop its attacks for three hours a day.

It says the stoppages will enable people living in the Gaza Strip to get emergency supplies of things like food and medicine.

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How much can be done in three hours? A Unicef expert explains to Sonali.

But it's continued its attacks overnight, including hitting the school where loads of people had been sheltering after their homes were destroyed.

The United Nations (UN) said at least 30 people were killed and 55 others injured in the attack and is calling for an immediate end to the fighting.

It's also criticised both Israel and Hamas for their attacks on each other.

Conflict

Israel says the military action is necessary to protect its people and stop the rocket attacks by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

A map showing Israel and Gaza
Since the latest conflict began, more than 600 Palestinians are believed to have died, with Palestinians officials saying that includes at least 195 children.

Seven Israeli soldiers have also died during the fighting, and at least four people in Israel have been killed by the rockets.

Why fight?

The fighting is all to do with who has the right to live where and it's a problem that's been causing trouble in this part of the world for years.

Lots of Palestinians live in Gaza, which is a tiny strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and Israel.

But Israel gets to decide who and what comes and goes from these areas, and Palestinians want them to give up that control.



Middle East

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