January 2nd, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 1/2/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight on 360°
Airstrikes continue in Gaza as Israel amasses troops and artillery at the border.

A ground assault could begin at any moment. We'll have a live report from Nic Robertson in Israel.

And tragedy strikes John Travolta and his family. His sixteen year old son dies while the family is on vacation.

We’re blogging throughout the hour, and we hope you will join us.

Just follow our rules. Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book)
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (we don't like screaming)
3) Use your real name

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (422 Responses)
  1. Maggie

    When this is all over in a couple of days, the media will forget about the struggle going on in Palestine. However, the people of Gaza will have to return to homes that no longer exist. In an already improvished area, it is now even poorer. Who will help them rebuild? Will Israel even let in supplies then?
    Before this started they had limited electricity and other supplies. This is a humanitarian crisis. When this "war" is over, it will be even more of a crisis. The world needs to step in now and offer their support.
    In all of this, the families are forgotten. These are real people dying, with real families.
    A poet once wrote: The killing of an individual is a crime, but the killing of an entire nation is a debate.
    That's what this has become.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  2. Mujahid

    Hamas is a democratically elected governement.....Just because they do not recognize Israel as a state they are considered a terrorist group

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  3. Dewy

    Israel needs to learn the art of diplomacy, over fifty years of oppression of civilians backed using US defense aid. As an American soldier, I am mortified that we support a big bully fighting a weaker force defending 'their' homeland!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  4. Sidney

    How can 2 enemies who have been fighting for 40 + years all of a sudden come together? Peace cannot be made where power is so far tilted one way. As a superpower and a beacon of hope we should broker a truce and offer an upside for the palestenian people to be against those who insight violence. They are living in hell and we are expecting them to listen to their enemy's demands. This is total madness!!!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  5. fadel

    Israel is placing a Holocaust on the palestine it has wiped there country off the map. the american people need to wake up and let there goverment know they will not stand for this.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  6. Andy October

    RE: Gaza Strikes – the world needs to move forward. While Israelis deserve peace, so to do the Palestinians. No amount of talk can justify the images of babies and women being treated in hospitals. Israel should be condemned for this abuse of force and for unleashing this on the people of Gaza.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  7. Jeremy Oriol

    Anderson, I am leaving for the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. I'll be studying abroad for 4 months. While not in Gaza, I will be in the middle east. Do I have anything to worry about? And what safety measures should I use abroad?
    Thanks Anderson!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  8. stevie

    Good Evening Anderson, Erica, and all who are blogging. I haven't posted anything since before Christmas so I would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. With all that is happening here and around the world offering those greetings sounds trite. Peace and goodwill to all.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  9. EJ (USA)

    I think there would be a few journalists getting killed if they let them in Gaza.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  10. Renee

    Anderson, do you know how much government aid the US sends to Isreal?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  11. Rod Murray

    What has everyone gone the "blue pill" route (Matrix); take the "red pill" and get a reality check. Twenty to 70 rockets are shot at the Israel towns daily... and that's ok. Maybe your neighborhood should be so lucky. Do people know what damage rockets do? I don't care who they are...if it comes to my town...I'm doing something about it with or without the governement!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  12. Bea

    Makes no sense to me. Israel knows they cannot win without ground troops. Perhaps they've made a calculation that the lives of Israeli soldiers are more valuable than the lives of Palestinian children. And what should CNN and others do in response to a ban? Just report from Israel?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  13. Debbie

    The whole situation is incredibly unfortunate. I wholeheartedly support Israel's right to defend herself, but no matter what she does the hatred toward Israel will never end.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  14. Khalid Mansour

    Dear Anderson
    Your viewers need to know that all of the palestinians under question are under a brutal occupation – yes occupation. The media forgets to mention that fact. Basic human rights are squandered and stolen.
    Dr. Khalid Mansour

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  15. Heather - Spokane, WA

    If Hamas wants peace like they say they do then they need to back off first

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  16. Tasneem Ahmed

    Hamas did not start the bombing. This is a very common misconception. Israel started bombing long ago, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians homeless and deprived of basic neccessities and security. If thought about correctly, Hamas only sends missiles for scare. Notice the very small number of Israelis killed and injured. In striking contrast, the Israeli missiles have killed over 400 Palestinians over the past week. Is this what we call humane?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  17. Maureen T

    Good evening Anderson. My goodness, so much is happening tonight. From the troubles in the Middle East. Will there ever be peace? And, of course, the death of John Travolta's son. My heart goes out to the Travolta family...I pray the media leaves the family alone at this time.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  18. Jim

    Has anyone noticed that Hamas exclusively targets civilians. Those rockets are being sent to cities and residential neigborhoods not military bases. Israel does not try to kill civilians. Hamas does not even try to attack all the troops amassed on the Gazan border. These are not legitimate defenders of the Palsestinians these are blood thirsty terrorists.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  19. Mujahid

    It is very sad to hear Pres. Bush blaming Hamas for the violence in Gaza...and the silence of Pres-elect Obama...and the coward actions of the UN.
    Yes Hamas started the rockets...but the conflict did not begin 1-2 weeks..Israel is occuping the land of the Palestinians..thats where the problem originate

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  20. Ashley - Hamlin NY

    I think we all realize that if it were Mexico or Canada sending rockets into the US then we would retaliate too. Look at Pearl Harbor and the incredibly powerful attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    But trying to stamp out terror or a terrorist organization by killing civilians doesn't make any sense – especially when those who are dangerous don't mind being martyrs.

    You can't kill an idea or philosophy by killing innocent people.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  21. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    I ask a question for Dr. Gupta......
    Do you know what cause how he died, maybe he had seizure or protect have happened?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |

    Isreal is doing what she is doing with the continuos assault on Gaza, because, Isreal suspects that, she might not receive the kind of support from Obama, as she got from Bush. In this wise, Isreal just as Russia are trying to gain as much ground as possible while Bush is still in power and Obama 'powerless'. Bush's silence is a silence of conspiracy with Isreal, while Russia's actions are provocative to 'test' the will of the incoming President.In all, it is the common man that suffers in all countries involved in these conflicts. As condemnable as the rockets throwing Palestinians, is the high-handedness of the Isreali military

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  23. Suzanne

    Why is the pressure always on Israel? I didn't hear anyone asking Hammas or Palestinian Government to stop launching Kassam into Israel!!!!!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  24. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Nic's reporting is incredible.

    Forgot to say earlier that the news about the Travolta's son is very heartwrenching. My prayers and with them.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  25. Jana, Indiana

    Anderson, you are right, with everything going on in the world today, it is hard to say it is a happy Friday.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  26. Deni NS

    My heart and sorrow goes out to any parent that outlives a child, public figure or not as I'm sure many are in the middle east.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  27. Tom Davis Kinston, NC

    Israel will start a ground attack soon if they don't Hamas will see this as a sign of weakness.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  28. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I am not surprised to see Obama challenged this early. I don't think they see him as a competent opponent.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  29. angelo

    someone needs to stop israels destructive behavior.. they are a much bigger nation and they need to act appropriatly

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  30. Jamal

    The coverage of CNN and other mainstream media in the US of the bombing of Gaza by Israel is absolutely appalling. Most of the coverage is focused on the make shift rockets that Hamas has sent into the Israeli town which, till a week ago has not killed any Israelis, yet no mention of the months of barbaric embargo that Israel has imposed on the people of Gaza depriving them of the most essential necessities like food, medicine, fuel. Israel is terrorizing the people of the region and is killing innocent civilians including over 70 children in this bombing campaign alone, all this with blind US support. What an outrage.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  31. Linda32

    Happy New Year all!

    I had to laugh when I heard what Hamas said to Obama. I guess they did not like what Bush said and have decided to disregard them. I haven't said much on this topics because I honestly think that both sides are to blame and innocents are suffering for it.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  32. Ken in NC

    WOW Anderson and Erica and all Bloggers. I made my entry and nothing showed up in the blog so I will try again.

    Good even Anderson, Erica and all Bloggers. Lots of sad news tonight.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  33. Mo

    When Hamas terrorists are cowards, shoot off rockets, and hide themselves and their bombs between Palestinian women and children, who is to blame? Look at the terrorists. Israel is protecting itself, the Palestinians in Gaza are unfortunately used as shields by their elected officials. Pray for shalom, shalam, peace.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  34. Jenny

    I truly do not understand all the commentators who decry the Israeli "disproportionate" use of force. Do they suggest that Israel merely match Hamas rocket for rocket in order to keep things proportionate? Do they really think that would accomplish anything? And how do they think the rest of the world would react if they were in Israel's position? Do they think the US, France, England, Germany, any other country would sit back and allow a neighboring territory to launch missiles at their citizens day after day with no retaliation?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  35. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    this gaza mess is horrible, and all for a little strip of land the size of the town i live in. horrible.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  36. Tawuya

    The USA is complicating this. They have supported Israel and this NOT right. The Palestinians need their democracy and dignity. The USA needs to leave the Middle East alone and let them sort this on their own. Yasser Arafat is rolling in his grave!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  37. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Good Evening Anderson,

    Wow. I was listening to CNN earlier and heard that the lights have all been outtened. Sounds like something is in the works. I get your trepidation at saying happy friday.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  38. John P. Scott

    I am a gentile Canadian and cannot understand why people are so surprised by isreal's reaction to having rocket sent into their cities.

    I find it appaling that Hamas are allowed to pretend they are the injury party in this situation.

    I feel Israel have every right to defend themselves.

    Jack Scott

    January 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  39. Nick Ramirez

    Israel has the right to end this continued madness which has been taking place for years and years. The Israeli Army is a force that many countries should think twice about before engaging.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  40. Candace from Canada

    Good evening Anderson, Erica and Bloggers.

    Unbelivable Sad news in regards to Jett Travolta.
    Thoughts and prayers to his family during this tragic and difficult time.
    It is just wrong for a sixteen year old to die, especially wrong 2 days into a new year.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  41. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    my heart and prayers go out to the Travolta's for their loss. it is truly the hardest loss for a person to experience. God bless them in this time of need.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  42. Vanessa, El Paso,TX

    good evening anderson, sad to hear about john travolta's son. My heart goes out to Kelly & john

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  43. Michele

    The media has displayed Israel as the instigator in these attacks, when in fact, she is merely defending herself against a terrorist group. After 9/11 there was no question that we should defend ourselves against terrorists, why shouldn’t Israel be able to defend herself?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  44. Rikki

    Good Evening Anderson, Erica and bloggers! Happy Friday!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  45. Ashley - Hamlin NY

    Good evening Cooper, Hill, AC360 staff and all bloggers.

    The news is so dismal lately. I still want to know how long the UN will let this go on before they step in.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  46. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    What a terrible day indeed. I really feel for John Travolta and his family. My prayers are with them at this dreadful time.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  47. EJ (USA)

    Hi Anderson

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  48. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo Anderson, Erica and best bloggers!!!
    Whew!!!! I can't wait forward this weekend!
    Oh no! I checked my e-mail from CNN that John and Kelly Travolta's son Jett had died this morning during their vacation.... My breaking heart goes to the Travolta's family........ my thoughts and Prayers with them.
    I hope that israel and Gaza need to stop the war.... too much problem violence..... My hearts goes to 2 sides.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  49. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Good evening Anderson and everyone. Its a sad day today.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  50. anderson cooper

    good evening everyone.. i would say "happy friday," but with a ground assault very possible in gaza and the death of john travolta's son, it doesnt seem appropriate. We'll be covering both stories in depth tonite as well as the challenges ahead for barack obama... and the challenges michelle obama talked to cnn about.

    January 2, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
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