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. Kim

    Hamas has stated that they will not stop until Isreal no longer exists. Isreal defends herself and we see people blasting the US for standing with Isreal. Do any of you even remember when the US gave money and supplies for the Palestinian people that it never got to them because their leader, Arafat, kept the money and supplies from them.
    I certainly wouldn't be sending anything else, knowing that it will not get to the intended group of people that I was sending it to.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  2. Makmoot

    Would someone explain why Israel would blockade Palestian Territory on a whim and starve and or make life miserable for all Palestianians all over the occupied territories where does that right come from and where is the US before this kind of escalation begins – its too little too late with the comments..

    Its Time for a Regional Commission to settle the Middle East Crisis without US intervention since they are in bed with Israel.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  3. Laurie

    Happy 2009....although it does not seem there is alot of happy news on much...Such sad news about John Travoltas son...

    This is my first time being able to watch the web cam, pretty neat deal...I am usually working at night! Happen to be off!

    Peace to all...

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  4. Tony Stewart

    I just don't get it. How is it that Israel can seemingly do whatever it wants? What is it with this twisted, ridiculously biased relationship the U.S. has with them? With the millions of tax dollars we give them every year we should be able to demand a cease fire and get just that.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Layla

    It's unfortunate that unless we the United States start playing the role we should be playing as an honest, balanced and just broker in the Middle East, the Israeli Palestinian problem will only keep on escalating. Why is it in our best interest to support an occupation that has flagrantly broken all UN resolutions and continues to suppress the people the occupy. Where is our humanity?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  6. lynn

    Looks like a trap to me. Historically, it would be logical that those, who have always vowed to remove the Jews from the land, would use a thorn, a buzzing fly, like Hamas to goad Israel into a what would appear an 'unfair fight'. If Israel invades, they take the bait, and the enemies in wait will have excuse to 'defend the poor little poison thorn' they placed in Gaza.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  7. J. Toomey

    Why hasn't anyone asked the question: why did Hamas send rockets to Israel????
    Bush blames Hamas...shows clearly where U.S loyalties are...

    If anyone had been following the last few months of appalling conditions imposed by Israel through the blockades one could understand the anger and frustration by Hamas and the Palestinians..

    We are quick to direct blame when we do not really understand what is happening on the ground.....and the media continues to support Israel who are the supposed victims of this continued occupation of a people.......
    I wonder how we would feel if we lost our homes, our land and our country......what would we do...

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  8. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    @stacy lloyd – God Bless you and please stay safe. My cousin is with the PA National Guard, she left today to go back to Iraq. There are not enough words to express my thanks for your service.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  9. Jacqueline, NY

    Many blessings as well to the Travoltas.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Kali

    There is an immediate need for ceasefire in Gaza. Already 434 people have been killed, 2400 injured in this escalating conflict or killing of innocent Palestinians. Now is the time to issue a demand to world leaders that the spiraling violence that has characterized the Israeli−Palestinian conflict must come to an end. In 2009 we need to push for real peace to be achieved between Israel and Palestine.

    I want to hear more from the Palestine human rights people, world leaders and people like Bill Clinton who are interested in peace. Bush is a "kiss-ass" to support this attack the Palestinian people. Hamas are idiots for making idle threats and their people are paying for what? A few egomaniac nut-jobs. This killing hurts the whole human race.

    How many people in Israel have died? Four? Don't you find this extremely disproportionate? It seems to me Israel has intention to take Gaza back. Isn't that their real agenda?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  11. Bahia

    Israeli does not need excuses to bomb Palestinians. I am Palestinian and visited Palestine numerous times. All they need is to see a Palestinian on the street and that is enough reason.
    It doesn't take rockets to break a cease fire. Israel broke the cease fire months ago, by killing Palestinians thru starvation, lack of Medical attention, imprisonment, confinment, and no access to the outside world.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  12. Louis

    It is definitely another tragic day for the people of the Middle East who are now on the brink of yet another war while people in this country take side on this Israeli-Palestinian conflict and issue blame. Let us remember that this is not a Palestinian problem, or a Muslim problem, or a Jewish problem or an Israeli problem, but a British problem. Both sides should come to realize who created this conflict in the first place and accept the fact that they were both duped.

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

    Hamas is a fly that Israel can shoo away at any time. They are a joke. Israel is using them as an excuse to make a statement.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  14. jehangir noor

    larry this isnt a dog fight we are talking about, these are human lives
    that is what our current president thought was the best strategy that is why he remained disengaged

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  15. Tom Davis Kinston, NC

    Why would Hamas take on a no win battle? It's looks like they took a knife to a gun fight.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  16. Shawn Hughes


    The question should be "Will there ever be Peace in the Middle East"?

    Currently the story is so muddled and we are so far removed from what the real story is...so we as American Citizens should steer clear from being too opionated..We hear two sides...Who is telling the truth?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  17. Ken C

    What can we really do to attempt to esolve this conflict in Israel at this time? We're suffering enough right now with out own crisis. However, with a new administration, should America attempt to focus a little on changing the way we're viewed? I mean, if we help mediate the two countries and take steps to stop this horrible battle isn't that a good thing for the long- run?
    Anyone agree?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Ashley - Hamlin NY

    I absolutely feel John Travolta's pain as my brother also had Kowasaki's disease. It's completely shocking to watch someone go through it and makes you feel utterly helpless. Thankfully, my brother hasn't had any other heath problems due to the disease. I hope that Kowasaki's had nothing to do with Jett's death either.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  19. anderson cooper

    Stacy – you are heading off for your third tour in iraq? wow. I wish you well. Stay safe and come home soon!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  20. Lana

    Like Ben Wedermen said, Hamas is a grass-root political organization elected by the Palestinian people through a democratic election. Hamas is the only hope for the Palestinian people who have been opressed and ignored by the world and it seems that dialogue with Israel just never works. The people of Gaza can't even flee, they are forced to stay inside while Israel continues to drop missiles on them. You cannot comapare Hammas's homemade rockets to US made missiles that Israel is using. The fact remains that Gaza has become the world's larges open air prison, a concenration camp for people who just want to live in dignity in their own country too.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  21. Emma

    Erica, you're right. Hopefully, things will improve and 2009 will be much better than 2008. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  22. shirin

    When will the US stand up for whats right. The Zionist are rich and powerful but Might does not always make Right.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  23. Allen

    Israel has the right to defend itself by all means possible. Can you imagine what our reaction would be if Mexico sent missles into the US?

    Hamas is a known terror organization. Again it apperas Israel has to do the "dirty work" for the entire free world.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Glauco Venancio

    I just would like to understand why so many people quickly run to judge Israel because of its right to defend the people aginst a group that is nothing but a terrorist group financed by Iran. The Palestinian issue is always used as an excuse to provide the acceptance of terrorist atacks. Is it so easy to forget Mumbai? Let's not forget that groups as hammas and hesbolah have declared war against the West. It is too easy to judge Israel pretending there is no terror being globaly orcheatrated. Pure hypocrisy.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  25. Ellen

    Obama's silence on the Hamas issue in Israel is being too criticized. He's definitely not ignoring the issue, just choosing to not speak out publicly about it yet.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  26. Ellen Thompson

    Nick Robertson Studdering!
    what You mean?
    If Hamas is part of the palestinina population (whitch is obvious being elected by the palestinians) Israel need to kill All Palestinians after they take their Land, Juast get it over calling it HOLOCAUST NR 2

    How come, if you look at the world map can not find a state called PALESTINE?
    Palesinians have no pasport they have aTravel Document Issued by Israel if they want to, or not, it's up to them.
    So How Israel Defending himself where in whoo's land or Country?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  27. Anne

    Hi Copper,nice to see you.
    What a day.my condolences to travolta and family.You are in our prays.May his life rest in peace.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  28. Nasser

    What Israel is doing is a crime. The US is its partner. I am shamed by our flag. The real Terrorists are Israel and the US foreign policy for treating Palestinians unworthy of life, who are helpless without electricity, bread, and heat.

    Shame on Obama for talking about his daughters as justification for Israel. How about the 1.5 million palestinian daughters and sons. Shame on Israel for getting away with unequal use of force. Obama and Ehud Barak should be charged as War Criminals. No justification allows the killing of innocent Palestinians.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  29. Jacqueline, NY

    Greeting All!

    Jeremy Oriol, many blessing to you and us all.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  30. Lynne F.

    Hi Erica, yes it has been rough, yet I am still attempting to not look at these events as signs as to how the entire year will play out.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  31. liz allen

    Anderson: do you not understand the Israelies have had a blockade of med. food and fuel for more than 40 days. No shipments are permitted in...the UN Relief agencies are not permitted in. This is starvation...this is a war crime according to Richard Falk, Chair of the UN humans rights committee, who was not permitted entrance. As a reporter do you think its ok for NO press to be permitted into Gaza to report on what is happening?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  32. David Levitt

    lots of protest against Israel in every city in North America but why were the Arabs not protesting while Hamas was firing rockets into Israel prior to the air strikes??

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  33. David Ali

    It no longer about who is right or wrong. The people living in the Gaza strip are experiencing a humanitarian crisis. Hospitals are running out of of essential medical supplies. How can the world watch and not do nothing? Already more than 400 people are dead and thousands are injured. Imagine your mother, father, son, or daughter was one of the helpless, innocent, injured in this mess. The world must act now.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  34. Yoav


    The people of southern Israel have suffered enough. They constantly recieved rockets coming from the gaza strip before and durring the ceasefire. Shall i remind everyone that it was Hamas who violated the cease fire and Hamas who vowed not to extend the ceasefire. The job of a government is to protect its people Israel is doing this after diplomacy has failed. Where did Israel have to turn? This I believe was the onl option.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  35. Camille

    Anderson – Why don't you "keep them honest?" Why is the narrative always framed with regard to "Hamas' rockets?" Why does no one ever mention the occupation, border closings, destructions of homes, refusal to halt new settlements, and the suppression of a people? C'mon, Anderson!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  36. Morris Danhi

    If the Israelies are against the Palestinians, how is it that there in no conflict with the West Bank or in Golan. Clearly HAMAS is at fault here. All they need to do is stop the Rockets.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  37. Mike Baldwin

    Isrealites have been trying to raise Hell since the Genesis of The Bible. Hamas is just defending their Lord given land of Palestine. I believe it is time for Isreal to back-off, and long overdue! -Mike

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  38. Monica

    Do you feel that John Trovolta's strong beliefs in scientology played a role in his son's death, when it comes to their stance in not taking certain medications?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  39. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    @Deni, NS:

    i have lost a child, it is a bond that only parents who have experienced it share. i believe supportive statements to them no matter where it comes from is important at this moment.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  40. Ken in NC

    Maybe a bit of history will help shed some light on this was.

    In 1948 a section of Palestine was carved out for the creation of the State of Israel and the people of Palestine refused to accept the land deal that created the State of Israel. There have been wars between them since.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  41. Paula, Colorado

    Hi! It's great to see you on tonight. I hope you are able to get some rest over the weekend.
    I'm glad to see the Bush administration responding to the crisis in the Middle East. The situation is immediate–and too much emphasis could be placed on Obama's approach as a new President–still a few weeks away.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  42. stevie

    Somebody mentioned Arafat rolling in his grave. When did Arafat ever negotiate in good faith? He held his own people hostage by pretending to care.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  43. Toks

    So Hamas broke the ceasefire?Did the ceasefire exclude cowardly Israeli soldires and their warplanes and tanks making several incursions into Gaza to kill Palestinians?All Israeli officials are trained Liars,the fact is Israel never honored the ceasefire and Israel has been killing Palestinians now for 60 years:I hope someone is keeping count..How do you define "Crime Against Humanity" again?Israel is living under terror from Home made rockets!!!!!!!!!!!,more lies.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  44. Becca

    Good evening all, and happy new year!!

    I am very concerned with recent events in Gaza as I am supposed to go to Israel in less than 2 weeks. Any hope that this conflict will escalate further?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  45. Sardar

    Is killing innocent people by an army in uniform is not terrorism.
    Why are people so ignorant and arrogant to label freedom fighters who are defending their homes land and families as terrorists. And ruthless killing machines like Israeli army has a license to kill and terrorise to no limits. SO IS THE TERRORIST?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  46. Greg, Austin Tx

    With all this stuff going on it'll take half a day every day just for Obama to get briefed what with Hamas over here, the economy over there, Russia in the background, Blago, Iraq, the bailout, health care .. it'll take 4 years for him to get to even get to his list of campaign promises.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  47. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    Thanks Brandi!!!!!
    Thanks for information about seizures.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  48. Anshel

    I believe that no side is really without fault, but when you look at it as it is, there is no way for israel to retaliate against hamas without killing palestinians especially when hamas and other palestinian groups surround themselves with civilians. While it is without a doubt regrettable that palestinians are dying... i feel that the israelis in the south have been taking the rocketfire constantly and they want their government to respond and americans would want our government to respond the same way.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  49. Ziv

    israel dont want to control gaza israel just want to stop the terror from gaza
    all the terrror atake all the boom from hamas all the children women and man thet they morder in coold blood talk abut that

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  50. Riad

    Mr. Cooper, i keep hearing everyone blames Hamas for breaking the truce, but isn't true that Israel first broke the truce back on Nov. 4th? While Americans were busy with voting, they(Israel) launched an air attack on Gaza and killed 4 people they claimed were "militants".

    Isn't a truce supposed to be respected by both sides? Why is Israel free to break it at will and wants to punish Hamas for doing the same as a REACTION?

    The Americans should know that Hamas was elected into Office legitimately by the Palestinian people in a democratic election just like Obama is voted by the Americans.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
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