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. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Im not for war, Im for people being adults and mature enough to sit down with each other and talk instead of blowing each other and other innocent people up.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  2. Bea

    The timing of this offensive by Israel was really awful in terms of getting US support. I guess Israel thinks that it doesn't have much to lose. I think its wrong.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  3. stevie

    The silence from other ME nations is deafening. Hmm, wonder why? Is it because they fear Iran who funds Hamaas who is hated by the other ME nations and they are just letting Israel do their dirty work?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  4. Deni NS

    I think any loss of a child is a horrible thing but is it really right to talk about their loss as if we were family or had a right in sharing in their grief? I ask you Anderson.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  5. Fred

    It is a complete travesty that Israel is allowed to use the force it has against the Palestinians. I heard on CNN that Pres. Bush has "laid down the law" and said that this must end. Well that just won't happen. Israel is the ONLY country that does not have to account to any international rule. They are pretty much given the green light to do what they want in the name of defending themselves. Defending against whom .... a people that have nothing. While I do not agree with suicide bombers etc, there needs to be more international involvement in order to bring some accountability to what Israel is TRULY doing. Israel is not allowing ANY journalists into Gaza .... WHY? What is there to hide. It is time the U.S step aside and allow some kind of international "team" (and not just the U.N.) to come in and see exactly and also be able to tell of the suffering of the Palestinian people. Why does the american media only concentrate on how the Israelis are suffering. What about the Palestinians ... they are suffering a thousand fold. As a jew, I am truly appalled at what Israel is doing, and I for one can say that it's leaders do not speak on behalf of the jewish people.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  6. Jenny

    Whenever people accuse Israel of a "holocaust" against Palestinians it makes me sick. Israel is not practicing genocide. If it wanted to, with its military strength I do not think it would be a problem for them to wipe out all of Gaza from the air. But Israel has, since its formation, worked for peace. there would be no Palestinian state of Gaza is Israel had not given up that land in an effort to attain a lasting peace. Throughout its short history Israel has time and again given up land for peace treaties and almost every time the peace is short lived and the terrorists attack again.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  7. Sian

    The Travolta's have experienced a life numbing tragedy – one that they will never recover from. They are celebrities whose job it is to entertain us, it is none of our business to speculate, as media outlets are doing already, on the nature of Jett's condition, or their religious beliefs. That is all irrelevant and we must STOP it now and have some class and integrity. They have lost their child, the details are none of our business now or ever. As a parent of a special needs child, whose health is precarious based on seizures, I can imagine what they are going through and the last thing they need is fans, media and critics salivating over the details – or "unraveling the medical mystery"........stay out of it and simply pray for them.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  8. Paul Levine

    Let's not lose sight of the fact that Hamas is the government of Gaza. The Palis elected them knowing full well that Hamas' platform is the destruction of Israel. No violins here. The Palis knew when they elected Hamas that they were voting for continued war. And they knew that Hamas, the murderers that they are, would hide amongst them.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Darius - Whittier, CA

    The conflict between Israel and Hamsa is a war that represent 1400 years of animosity between the two groups – namely jews and muslims.
    I believe this conflict will only be resolved via dialogue and understanding of two parties of each other's hopes and dreams. It must happen

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  10. Sidney

    This looks like a power struggle from both sides mainly the Israelis to get the new Obama administraion's attention. Both parties are concerned as they cannot really read the new US administration and they want Obama to be in the HOT seat in the early days and choose sides.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  11. Minou, New York City

    That was an excellent panel!!! I'm glad to finally hear a voice from within the Gaza strip.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  12. Bridget

    Hi Anderson, Erica and fellow bloggers:)

    My sympathies to John and Kelly, there is no pain worse than a parent losing a child.

    Our world has been helter skelter for over a year now, but we can and should still wish everyone a happy Friday, Sat. etc.

    Why stop now, when people lose children every day and there's a war somewhere in the world everyday?

    We have a lot to be thankful for and a future to look forward to.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  13. Ferris

    israel just like any other country in the world has the right to defend itself, however israel is the only country in the world who continues to occupy palestinian land and commits acts of state terrosim against the palestinan people since 1948, president elect barak obama needs to speak out and let israel know that enough is enough!! the american people voted for MR obama to see a change, why not start with israel, if israel wanted they can have peace overnight, but they dont want peace they want surrender on the part of palestinians, the only way for there to be peace is through justice, with a just solution israel can have peace with anyone including hamas and israel is highly aware of this, i hope that our new american president with the help of the true peace seekers in israel will put an end of the extremist policys that israel has, with a just solution and israel abiding by all U.N resolutions israel can have peace and the extremeists on both sides would disapear out of the picture.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Ziv

    hi i just like to say the hamas send misselto israel long time before israel start the atake on gaza
    cnn need to give israel more time show to say they side of the story

    January 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Candace from Canada

    I am trying to figure out each sides to this Gaza fight.
    I definitely need to read up on both sides.

    Lets hope ALL the journalists in Gaza stay safe.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  16. Mawal

    How many people do we have to lose to understand that kill one to save thousand never works we saw that in cold war, ww1, and many other wars. And sometimes these government make it sound like kill thousands to save one and that one seems to be the government.Life is a test and so far we are failing.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  17. Stacy

    That was a really good segment.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  18. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    Why not our president Bush need to tell them to stop them each other to contact sign peace?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  19. Andy October

    One side needs to stop first. One side needs to say that enough's enough. One side needs to turn the other cheek first. If not Hamas then why not Israel, supposedly the bigger of the two. – Andy, Cape Town

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  20. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I agree with Reza; it will just be more of the same without some type of political solution which seems very unlikely.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  21. Cory

    I find it very curious that non-muslim Americans feel the need to support the Palestinians in a cause that isn't even theirs, interestingly enough through all the protests i haven't managed to see any actual Palestinians. I believe the media is at fault in this matter for overdramatically showing the "civilian effects" in Gaza, I never knew a terrorist in disguise could be considered a civilian, and when people talk about women and children they forget to mention thhe fact that the terrorists hide behind them just to attract the media's sympathy.
    When a country is attacked by a nieghbor for no apparent reason and persists in keeping hopes of peace while being bambarded by thousands of rockets for an entirety of three months, i think that everyone would agree that that country has the right to defend itself regardless of how challenging and costly the process may be.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  22. Adela Palenzuela

    Hamas is not the problem in Gaza Israel is!

    USA needs to stop the massacre and the abuse

    60yrs is a long time for an occupation

    Shame on those who support Israel

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  23. Pasquale Argenio

    Defense? You make a mockery of the word. Criminals be you, who would try to silence those who stand up to your tyranny. "
    If you want peace, work for justice." - MLK
    You have created Hamas via 60 years of cynical obstruction.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  24. amy

    The coverage by CNN seems to focus on blaming Israel for what is going on in the south. For weeks Hamas has been bombing Israel. The lives of Israeli has been living in fear and under unfair scrutiny for so long. Use the time to also fairly educate people on why Israel is forced to do what she must. Why isn't anyone looking to the backing of Hamas by Iran.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  25. Jeff


    As a college student who admittedly doesn't really know much about any of this, I'd still have to say it seems a little ridiculous for people to be criticizing Israel... The Israeli military seems to be working to defend Israeli citizens, while Hamas seems to be essentially hiding behind theirs. If Hamas truly cared about the civilians of Gaza, you'd think they would stop provoking Israel to attack them all the time.


    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  26. Lauren- Massachusetts

    Good Evening Anderson & Bloggers,

    The Israel-Palestine Conflict is very sad and confusing. Whether it is an issue of religion, politics or territory, I can only hope that more structural measures are taken to improve the lives of citizens in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  27. Tom Davis Kinston, NC

    The ground incursion will be to target the leadership of Hamas.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  28. Stephie

    This whole situation scares me. The MidEast continues to be a hot bed of violence. We already have US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. But with Israel and Hamas at arms, and India and Pakistan going toe to toe, throw in Ahmadinejad in Iran...how long until it turns into WWIII?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  29. Ken C

    Is Bush taking any steps at this time or taking any attempts to mediate the two countries? I mean he's leaving office soon- why not leave on a better slate?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  30. Carol R

    Hamas has no regard for human lives. They keep their families in the house with weapons stored. Then they complain when their children are killed. It is time for the citizens to rise up and take over from the Hamas-just as we rose up from England. Much was promised to the people when they were elected -it was not delivered.
    Perhaps the Fatah will come in and take over from these terrorists.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  31. clara

    Israel is defending their homeland, just as we have a right to defend our homeland. when devils come to your home , get rid of them anyway you can. this sums up the majority in the middle east. they are mass with no patriotic feeling, full of religious devilish traditions and no tie to each other, they believe in evil, and are ready to overthrow another country, they are the devil, full of unreasonable jealousy, there can be no peace with the devil. get rid of all religious devils.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  32. Beth

    The reason this is happening is simple..the answer is as well.,.just as Prime Minister Golda Meir said ..when the Palestinians love thier children more than hate Jews is when the conflict will stop... Where was all the outrage as Hamas daily lobes bombs into civialian areas of Israel? Where is the outrage on that?

    Israel has offered over and over plans for peace that were declined with great compromise on Israel's side.. and here we are worried about Hamas who hides behinds civilains? Where is the honor in that? Hide weapons in schools and mosques?

    The snake's head must be cut off ..destroy Hamas completely

    January 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  33. Bob Chalmers

    The cowards that hide in peoples homes and hospital to do thier dirty work need to be eliminated. They want the blockade to be lifted so they can send in more teenage and female suicide bombers before they quit sending in rockets. It's time to end this and Isreal has the right to do everything they need to to stop it. Everybody is saying that it's not right for Isreal to be sending in the planes because all Hamas is shooting are little rockets. Stand beside one of those little rockes when it lands and your just as dead. The bigger kid always hits the hardest and thats usually the only way to get bullies to quit. You go Isreal!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  34. Abayomi, Florida

    HAPPY 2009 – Anderson, Erica, and all the Rest of the Team. May the Spirit of Wisdom allow us all to continue to seek THE TRUTH in all around us, and definate Great Health, Prosperity, and More Service.
    Hamas needs to realize that, they are dealing with a POWER that they invoked. I believe the Hamas Leaders should have shocked the World by wanting to talk to Isreal. THAT IS WHAT OBAMA WOULD DO. Obama is not just going to be there to turn the other check, if YOU KEEP WAKING THE SLEEPING GAINTS.
    Let's Love More in 2009 – Hamas could have started it, send Peace, not Rockets.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  35. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    @megan dresslar,

    if he had a history of seizures, it could have been the blunt force trauma, but with his history of kawasaki disease and damage having already occurred in his cardiovascular system, it is possible that an emboli or aneurysm occurred as well during the seizure.

    i wonder if his seizure history is grand mals? still, a very sad moment for them. and not something they could have stopped, i hope they have as little internal guilt as possible, that is the hardest part, wondering if you have done everything you could as a parent.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  36. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Frankly I cannot imagine the stress that the people in Gaza live under all of the time. How would it be possible to try to live a normal life under these circumstances? Clearly they are used to these conflicts, but it fascinates me how the human spirit can survive in such trials. I wish all of the people suffering in this area the best.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  37. Mohammed

    Israel is the only country who gets away with all crimes they commit against civilians. It is a country in violation of so many international laws.

    Enough is enough; killing more than 100 children is not a self defense. Simply, Israel must lift their embargo against hospitals and food supplies.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  38. John Bergquist Newtown, CT

    Israel needs to show restraint. Clearly their military power is overwhelming. Hamas has ignited this conflict by launching rockets into Israel. However, that does not compare to the death and destruction that is occurring in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli military.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  39. Daniel

    I think the altercation that is going on right now, as we speak, is half Isreal's fault. Who broke the ceasefire at this point is unimportant, what is, is that people are dying and neither side are trying for a peacefull solution.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  40. Kathy, Chicago

    No good news tonight. Where are Bush and Condi? Are they talking to both sides? I'm so sorry to hear about John Travolta's son.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  41. Ken in NC

    Hamas has beed shooting missles into Israel for months now so why is Israel being made out as the bad guy for defending it's own people. That is not right. I agree that the bombings and missles need to stop but Hamas continues to shoot them. Both sides need to stop.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  42. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    I hope Nic Robertson will safe his own hands.... He is so amazing reporter covering for us from Israel........ I think that Israel need peace with Gaza, not war. they won't stop drop rockets into Gaza..... it made me mad.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  43. Johnny

    Someone needs to ask Hamas why they have a right to launch 70 missiles a day into another country and not expect retaliation???They are no better than Arafat.They sacrifice their own innocents....totally disgusting.So much for religion.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  44. sandu

    it is unfortunate that nations under indiscriminate attack by muslim extremists like mumbai, india and now israel , are expected to turn the other cheek over and over again. international reaction and outrage only arises when the victim nations retaliate as israel is doing and india unfortunately has not.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  45. margaret armstrong

    why not ask why marsaal is in syria while his people are suffering as he says. this is so typical of tyrant types who threaten but expect others to do their dirty work. and they take no responsibility for anything.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  46. Eitan

    Anderson Hamas needs to be stopped. The constant rocket fire by Hamas causes the Israelis to live in fear, Israel needs to defend itself. Israel sadly needs to go in through ground force since an agreement will obviously not be found between Hamas and Israel.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  47. Ali..Jackson, MS

    This Israel/Gaza situation reminds me of David vs. Goliath, except Goliath (Israel) not only has the size,sword, and shield...but also has the "slighshot" too...

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  48. chuck

    you just stated that gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth with 1.5 million people in 130 square miles. aren't new york and most other major metropolitan areas much more densely populated?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  49. Paul Horwitz

    It will never end. The hate runs through to many generations.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  50. Shawn Hughes

    My condolences to John Travolta and his family starting off their year with such tragedy. I can't help but wonder what ..If any...is the problem with the Emergency Care in the Bahamas?? Americans seem to die there if it is life and death situations...

    January 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
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