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. Ashley - Hamlin NY

    On one hand I want Israel to be protective of its reporters and journalists and that's why they aren't permitting any in Gaza...

    On the other, I think it's a lot different to show clips of a dozen Israelis dead versus hundreds of people in Gaza.

    We all bleed red...

    January 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  2. Brona Pinnolis

    Israel often warns those in affected areas of impending military actions so that innocent citizens can take cover. Talk to the citizens of Sderot in Southern Israel, where rockets have been a fact of life since Gaza was given its self-rule. No such warnings come their way. Israel moved its settlers, gave up the land, gave up the control and what was the result? Attacks generated from that land to Israeli citizens, whether Jewish, Arab, or otherwise. This current conflict is not about Palestinian self-rule because they have it in Gaza. It is about Hamas's unwavering commitment to destroy Israel and kill Jews. The innocent citizens living in Gaza are pawns in the struggle of radicals who do nothing to better their citizens' lives. Had they taken the opportunity to build their infrastructure, create jobs, and better people's lives rather than concentrating on bombing Israel constantly, perhaps more would have come from the truce. But no. Israel must defend its citizens. Period.I

    January 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  3. Ari

    I completely agree with Joe Johns...PE Obama cannot use the issue in Israel as a reason to put the economy on the back burner. We have to take care of us too. And I think Obama, though being highly criticized, is right not to make a comment...He is not the president yet and wont be for 18 more days.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  4. David, Indiana

    This situation btwn Israel and Hamas has come to a head. Will it need to be the central focus of diplomacy? Why couldn't they avoid this? You can't help but worry about all those people in densely populated Gaza, and the Israelis in the towns that have to deal with the rocket attacks. It's irresponsible isn't it for both Israel and Hamas not to move immediately to stop hostilities? Comes back to your question, Anderson, what is the purpose of all this?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  5. mirsada

    I am glad to hear everyone's civil responses to the topics of the day.
    What a horrible situation in Gaza! As someone who has experienced terror personally, I can relate to the poor, innocent people of Gaza.
    I do not understand why it continues to be OK for Israel to do what they are doing? If we revisit the history, clearly, it shows that Palestinian civilians have been terrorized by these bullies for many ages. Hamas does not represent the population, but who else do you turn to when the biggest powers in the world continue to excuse those who are killing your parents, siblings, children?
    May God watch over Gaza.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  6. Michael

    PE-Obama is being put in the middle if this war... again, the Middle East is looking to the U.S. to give an opinion so that the side which the U.S. opposes can use the U.S. as a scapegoat and continue to make America a target amongst the fanatics.
    Maybe, the U.S. (and the U.N.) should take a neutral stance and declare significant sanctions against BOTH Isreal and Hamas until such time that they are forced to come to some sort of declaration of peace. Ahhh, just too many years of hate.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  7. Emma

    Has Caroline Kennedy given an interview where she actually expressed her views on various issues? Being a Kennedy should automatically qualify her for the job.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  8. david

    I have one quation for you Larry. Why the Palestiniens say that there is disproportion betwene Israelies attack and the Palastiniens attack? When the Israely army before boming Hamas building,sending fliers and worrnig the citizens of the area that they will attack. On the other hand, when Hamas is sending missols they always try to target the citizens and not the army. So what proportion we are talking about?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  9. Hazel

    If the Palestinians and Hamas would acknowledge the existence of Israel, all this fighting would not be happening. If America or any other country's very existence was threatened, wouldn't they re-act the same? The blame for all the loss of lives must be put totally on the Palestinians and Hamas!!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  10. Dewy @ Ft Bragg

    I can't believe that so many want to support Israel, most Americans have no idea what is happening over there. Why is no one appalled when Israeli soldiers shoot Americans who just happened to be near Palestinians in Israel?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  11. John Bergquist Newtown, CT

    I don't know why Burris has allowed himself to be used by Blagojevich in this way. He seems very capable but does he really believe he will be seated in the Senate?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  12. Nicholas

    Hi Anderson,
    Didn't American want a democratic elections in Gaza? So, what does it matter who the people choose?

    Did you and Ben Wiederman forget to state this fact? I'm still waiting to see when you are going to utter these facts.

    America and Israel need to get their act together. We don't want a 9/11 sequel II.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  13. Brian Tourville

    Hamas purposely picked this fight to receive Media Coverage to win Hearts to their cause.

    The Palestinians elected Hamas to represent them.

    Hamas declared War on Israel by condoning and continuing Missile
    Attacks on Israeli civilians.

    What is the Mystery for CNN reporters with Israel striking back and seeking to eradicate Hamas ?

    The USA and Allies turned German Cities to virtual Dust to eradicate National Socialism .

    This said, Israel must follow up with funding Food – Medical Care and the active Rebuilding of Gaza once this is over or it will be as when the USA left Afghanistan once the Russians pulled out:

    We immediately pulled out all help & medicine leaving a wasteland which fueled Taliban membership which then spawned 9/11 .

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  14. Spenser Tillman conyers, GA

    One reason President-elect obama wouldn't speak out on the subject could be because there will be a change in foriegn policy towards Isreal anderson

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  15. Steven, Colorado

    At this point, it would be to the benefit of both Israel and the civilian population of Gaza for Israel to invade the country. Aside from causing collateral damage, Israel's airstrikes have not been as effective, or discerning of innocent bystanders, as a ground war would have been. Regardless of what the endgame may be, it won't be bombs that enforce it, but boots on the ground.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  16. Lauren- Massachusetts

    This conflict seems impossible to solve. I wonder if this will be on the top of Obama's list of things to tackle. If the Israel-Palestine Conflict can be solved or improved greatly during the Obama administration, it will be a miracle to say the least.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  17. steven

    Aysha, Israel is defending themselves against a terrorist organization that is firing hundreds of missiles into their cities. Answer this question, if the United States had missiles fired at it, what would be our response. As opposed to Hamas, the Israelis are doing all they can to minimize civilian deaths, but innocent people will die when Hamas leaders hide themselves amongst the general population.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  18. Eitan

    Yoav you are completely correct. There was no other option Hamas did not wish to discuss another cease fire or truce.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  19. alaa


    One of the main reasons that Hamas was sending missiles over the border in the first place was because of the Israeli embargo which prevented essential materials into Gaza. So what else was Hamas was supposed to do when their people are starving and dying because they don't have enough medical supplies? And as for Hamas stopping, what would stopping do for them? it would just show Israeli that the Palestinians are Israeli's dogs, and all they have to do is beat them to get them to cooperate. Maybe Palestinians are sick of sitting around suffering, and this is all they can do. For every one Israeli dead, 400 Palestinians die. Doesn't that seem a little disproportionate?


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

    It took the PLO 30 years to recognize that the state of Israel is a fact and that terror tactics would not lead palestinians to a state. I am afraid that for a group like Hamas it will take another 50. Meantime both Palestinians and Israelis are doomed to suffer.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  21. Moinul


    Must say this as one of your biggest fan..
    Thanks a lot for unbiased coverage of the mid-east conflict. I should
    still say somewhat unbiased. If we (USA) truly beleive in freedom we need to be talking about freedom of Palenstinians as well as Israleis.

    Perhaps we are mature enough to start this dialoge. Perhaps 2009 is a good year to start it.


    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  22. Ashraf Elnagdy

    The only way out of the current mess in the Middle East is talk to Hamas. Whether the US, Israel and their Arab cronies like it or not, Hamas has is the only democratically and fairly elected governing body ever. We called the PLO a terrorist organization for more than 25 years. Likud of Israel was a called the same before. We do not need to wait as long to start talking to Hamas.
    Ashraf Elnagdy,
    Boston, MA

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  23. sanela pjetrovic lajqi

    if the world stands by and lets israel take force on the ground then we will force more terrorists to arrise. it will create more hate towards the jews. how much was egypt paid to close the border?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  24. kishore

    First of all, the occupation is completely illegal according to Resolution 242, immoral in its violation of Human Rights (freedom of press, freedom of movement, etc) and a war crime b/c it causes death by not allowing the occupied people access to medical supplies, food, etc and also b/c of the civilian murders. Second of all, you CAN’T “defend” yourselves if you’re militarily occupying another people’s land, that’s not the definition of defense, it’s simply oppression.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  25. sam steven

    why when it comes to the middle east our government is always bias plus as american what are getting out of the israelies?and for how long we are gonna baby sit israel .enough is enough.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  26. Lori from IL

    Good Evening – Anderson, Erica, Floor Crew and Fellow Bloggers

    My New Year's resolution was have more hope this year - but tonight's news is making that very difficult.

    My prayers go out to the Travolta family on this very sad day for them.

    I do hope that Blago and Burris don't embarass the residents of IL next week - still haven't heard is Jesse White has certified Burris' appointment. He said he was not going to - if he doesn't then it's my understanding that Burris won't be allowed entry onto the senate floor. However, since Blago is still a sitting Gov. he is allowed entry onto the senate floor. Poor Obama - he has enough on his plate without this.

    I'm hopeful that calmer heads will prevail in the Gaza, but it's not looking good.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  27. Bob Chalmers

    The Republicans seem to be forgetting that there will be another election in 2 years. I'm betting that if they try to stop a democratic recovery that will start to put people back to work they won't like the results of that election either. It's time for them to start playing with the rest of the kids. We are sick of them taking care of the rich, It's time for the rest of us. PA elected Casey 2 years ago do we need another democrat to get our message through?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Jenny

    I appreciate CNN's coverage and find it unbiased most of the time. But, I think the continuing count of civilians killed in Gaza is interesting. Of course its truly horrible when even one innocent life is lost, but I've yet to see these kinds of counts coming out of places where the US military is in action. How many innocent lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  29. Kelly Smith

    They could possible recruit palistine people as undercovers and go into gaza and kill the hamas leaders firing without killing innocent people.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  30. tonette

    it's heartbreaking to see this war within our beloved earth instead of sharing love what are we doing because of our differences in ideology... what if we understand each other and instead sharing the love that our heavenly father teaches us thousand years ago....my pryers for those unfortunate civilians that are caught up......

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  31. Megan Dresslar- Shoreline, WA

    Look what nurse said that comments to sent to Dr. Gupta. Please........ Thanks.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  32. Omar

    The world needs to understand is that Israel controls the Gaza strip from land, sea, and air. They control water flow into the city, electric, etc. Over the past year they’ve been cutting off water supplies and electric. Its winter time and people have no heat, or food. You can’t have one way treaty with Israel still occupying Gaza and controlling food supplies and everything else. To have a fair and honest truce Israel needs to withdrawl from all Palestinian land and allow huminitarian aid to Gaza and the rest of Palestinians. It’s a shame that innocent children are being bombed and yet no country has spoken against Israel.

    The US tacitly supports Israel's atrocities. Military aid, plus the use of its influence to silence Arab leaders and using the veto to block action from the UN. There isn't a Palestinian killed by Israel who isn't also killed by the United States.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  33. David Mugisha

    This whole Israel – Palestinian conflict is purely a human rights issue that is being disguised as the historical religious contest between Jews and Moslems. Hamas has failed to realize and exploit this while Israel perpetuates it to win world sympathy and justify how it treats Palestinians.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  34. robert smith

    Is everybody blind? Israel,s army is right there in front of Gaza and hammas, But hammas shoots their rockets over the soldiers, who are out in the open ready to fight, and tries to kill cilivans behind the soldiers. hammas don,t want to fight soldiers, they only want to kill women and babies. Why don,t they fight the Israel army like men, instead of targeting babies.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  35. David Razon

    Asking for restraint by the Israelis from the living rooms in the US is aneasy task... try to leave with kids in areas neighbouring with Gaza ,shelled and rocketed with 15seconds to save your life...!

    The people of Gaza and Palestinian in general had all their chances and opportunities to leave in peace with israel and chose differently, throughout the last history.. They were given the choice of working in our industry, farms and other places but chose to wait for chance to throw us to the sea..Well, that would not and cannot happen and aggressiveness is retraints by force, unfortunately ..
    Military operation aims to the Leadership and militants of Hamas and
    best for citizens to stay out of it

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Avi

    Israrel has the right to defnd it self from terrorists, lets not forget Hamas a terrorist group!!!!!!. when was the last time a class was tought in the unieversity of gaza, not in the past 15 years, the only school they have is the school of terror. The palestinian people choose Hamas in a "democratic" election so the only one they need to cry to is Hamas.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  37. Nasser

    Hamas actually only targets settlers and Israeli Military. Their point of view is that anyone who is on Palestinian lands is not innocent. Fact Check: Israel actually kills more civilians then Hamas. There is no difference between state terrorism Israel and Hamas in that regard. Put yourself in the Palestinian shoes in Gaza what would you do to get food, shelter, and money for your family. Its not that hard to understand.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  38. Abayomi, Florida

    Prayers for the John Travolta Family. All around 'the world' still remember his main start from 'Saturday Night Fev', so I can say the Whole World is Praying for the Family, as the Son was Still so Young. He's an 'Angel' now, so More Strength For their Family.
    Great to be an American, in all things, we will turn out for Good !

    January 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  39. mike smith

    US needs to be more engaged in the peace between Palestinians and Israel, and stop calling hammas a terror group because they are not, just because they are against Israel dose not make them terrorist group, killing palestinians will not bring peace to israel, maybe you need to take a look @ the history of this conflict, and as long there is occupation there will be resistance from Hamas or any other groups

    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  40. Bob Z

    Israel is again committing a major mistake by attacking Hamas in Gaza. They basicaly did what Hamas wanted them to do. Hamas does not care about the civilian casualties otherwise they would have moved them away from Civil, military and other facilities. Israel needs to understand that the way to deal with Hamas is dealing with their leader Mechaal who is under Syria's Assad's protection. Hamas in Gaza has no power to make any decisions. Mechaal is Assad's mouth piece. Deal Assad a major blow and Hamas will vanish away

    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  41. Andy October

    Violence is more often than not difficult to justify, which is why it's a last resort. So I don't think that many of us blogging here will support either side using violence. My conservative response would be that Israel has made their statement and should not be the bigger and better to back off. All they are doing now is instiling a deeper resentment for Israel amongst Arabs, Muslims and people like myself, who are not in favour of violence.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  42. Ali..Jackson, MS

    Bush is at Crawford Ranch and he has more "Presidental" things to do like hunt, fish, and work out. And our Sec. of State... Well she hasn't done much anyways...so its best if she just stays out of the way.
    I thought the UN had more influence and power than what they are showing.... WHERE is the U.N.?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  43. Rafael Cubas


    I would say that it is a mistake to believe that Obama can solve the whole world's problems on his first day in the office.



    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  44. Sarah Joyce

    The Isreali government is in a bind. Elections are just around the corner. So, they have (rightly so) had to make an major effort to protect their citizens who live within Southern Isreal and who are feeling the effect of the Hamas Rocket Effort.

    Will it take a ground invasion to make their point. Their air offemsive has been very effective. But they will probably not do a ground offensive (read invasion). Instead they will stop there. No, it is not a REAL solution, but for the time being, they have made their point.

    Soon, the Ireali forces will be forced to invade the Gaza Strip (that could be a very costly move) if they are serious about protecting their own people in Southern Isreal. However, it is time for Isreal to get serious!

    Sarah Joyce

    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  45. Cindy

    Innocent children are suffering and dying...this needs to stop now. It doesn't matter who, why or how this began it just matters that it ends. There is no justification great enough to excuse the military actions that are destroying lives. Enough is enough. These are children of God and they do not deserve to be massacred.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  46. Rhondi

    Isn't it odd how Hamas has plenty of rockets to keep firing but they didn't stock medical supplies for their people?

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  47. gadi dekel

    thugs and murderers are locating themselves amongst civilians,.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  48. John - Texas

    I think Israel needs to go into Gaza and plow every building down. The Palestinians support Hamas and Terror in general and the only way to end this is to destroy the root cause. Turn Gaza into a sand dune. No buildings, no people, no more bombs. Just the breeze from the sea. Then after that, let Israel completely take over Gaza and alow that land to be absorbed into the Nation of Israel. Problem solved.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  49. Jared and Tom


    Palestinians have the right to live free of Israeli’s bombardment and constant siege. Israeli’s war crimes and genocide must not go unanswered without accountability. Enough is enough!

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  50. Minou, New York City

    I'm amazed that so many people don't seem to see how disproportionate Israel's response is! The rockets Hamas fires luckily don't kill many people. In just a few days Israel killed hundreds (!) of Palestinians. Of course the Israelis live under constant threat,stress, and fear, and they should defend themselves. But killing scores of civilians is hardly helping.

    January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
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