[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/art.gaza.hamas.rockets.jpg caption="Palestinian Qassam rockets are fired by Hamas militants inside the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli town of Sderot on Tuesday, as seen from Israel's border with the Palestinian territory."]
Program Note: Watch Anderson report LIVE from Israel tonight on AC360° tonight at 10pm ET.
I spent the morning with Israeli police, looking at a collection of Hamas rockets that have landed in Ashkelon over the past month. They have shelves full of handmade Qassam rockets, and the larger more effective factory made Grad rockets. Both are loaded with fuel and shrapnel, designed to spray hot metal and ball bearings upon impact. It’s a wonder more Israelis haven’t been killed.
Israel is targeting hidden weapon caches as well as the underground tunnels Hamas uses to get more rockets and supplies, but after a week of Israeli bombings and four days of a ground assault, the Hamas rockets keep coming. Today a small child was slightly injured in one Israeli town. Since this current crisis began, four Israelis have been killed by incoming rockets.
In Gaza, more than 600 Palestinians have been killed so far, and medical sources estimate more than 100 of them are women and children. Details on an Israeli tank strike near a UN school are still emerging at this hour, but the UN says at least 30 people were killed at the school where many Palestinians had sought shelter. Many of the dead are children. Israel says it’s investigating, but also says initial reports indicate mortars were fired from the facility. It is a public relations blow to Israel, at a time when international pressure is building for some kind of ceasefire to be reached.
AC360° Technical Production Manager
Maybe you've heard that saying about ducks - all calm and serene above the water, but paddling like hell underneath. That’s a good way to describe AC360 the other night.
With Anderson half way across the world - near the Israeli border in this case - things tend to get a lot more complicated. There’s a lot of equipment, personnel, and time that goes into making sure things go smoothly. And luck. And sometimes things don’t work according to plan.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/06/burris-umbrella-1-6.jpg caption="Senate-designate Roland Burris is turned away from Senate Tuesday."]Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”
In Session Anchor
That was one of my grandmother’s favorite expressions. As in, "That sure us a sticky wicket you've gone and gotten yourself into this time".
And I love the sound of it; but it's not all that often that I can say "sticky wicket" and really mean it. Now thanks to Governor Rod Blagojevich, however, we have a real sticky wicket up on Capitol Hill. We have a governor who has been charged,with unimaginable corruption but who still has the power to appoint a replacement for an empty senate seat. Not just any senate seat but the seat vacated by Barack Obama. And before that governor can be removed from office he quickly makes his choice, naming Roland Burris, a man with 30 years of public service under his belt and untainted by the stink of the Blagojevich scandal.
And that’s the sticky wicket.
Because whoever takes the seat will have to win it again. And it's a seat democrats cannot afford to lose. But since they likely can't challenge Burris on the legal merits, their only choice will be to challenge him as a political matter. Tough to do with no other African Americans in the senate, support for Burris at home and no indication that he's done anything wrong.
And so as my Granny used to say, it sure is a sticky wicket we’ve gotten ourselves into this time. And it’s anyone’s guess how it will turn out.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/06/israel.gaza/art.chopper.idf.gi.jpg caption="In a handout photo from Israel Defense Forces, troops deploy Tuesday in northern Gaza."]Maureen Miller
The Mideast conflict in Gaza has taken its bloodiest turn. Today Israeli artillery shells hit a U.N. school where hundreds of Palestinians were seeking shelter. Israel is defending the strike saying Hamas militants were firing mortars from the school.
The attack killed at least 40 refugees and wounded dozens more.
Israel's military still surrounds Gaza City. Eyewitnesses have also seen Israeli forces near the southern city of Khan Younis. Will they move deeper into both cities? If so, that would take the battle to a new level.
There are also diplomatic efforts underway. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is at the U.N. tonight pushing for a cease-fire resolution.
Anderson will be reporting again tonight from the Israel/Gaza border with the latest developments on the conflict.
We'll also be discussing President-elect Barack Obama's comments on the crisis today. For the first time, he talked about the casualties.
"The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern for me. And after January 20th, I am going to have plenty to say about the issue," said Obama.
He is vowing to get actively engaged in the Mideast, but not until after he's sworn in.
How would you like to see President Obama deal with the Mideast? Share your thoughts with us below and we hope you'll join us at 10pm ET.
Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent
Well they aren't summer interns anymore. Actually most of them are probably working real jobs, but their work two years ago for CNN's investigative team has finally brought the entire congressional earmark process into the wide-open.
In the summer of 2007, we assembled a team of interns to ask every member of Congress to disclose their pork barrel requests, known as earmarks. The requests in the past have been done in complete secrecy. Most of us found out about pork barrel spending only after it was included in budget bills.
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) accepts the gavel from Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) during the first session of the 111th Congress in the House Chambers January 6, 2009 in Washington, DC.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/06/israel.gaza/art.burial.afp.gi.jpg caption="Palestinians prepare Tuesday to bury members of a family they said died in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City."]
Program Note: Watch Anderson report LIVE from Israel tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.
Special to CNN
The recent carnage in Gaza has left little doubt that within the tortured dynamic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both the chicken and the egg have completely and utterly lost their minds.
Regardless of who's to blame for the origins of the conflict, shame on both Hamas and Israel for their recent violations of international law that have led to a humanitarian inferno in Gaza and southern Israel.
Hamas is to be blamed for its sophomoric provocation of its neighbor's military wrath by firing missiles into southern Israel. Israel also should be condemned for its disproportionately inhumane onslaught in Gaza, which has currently left 555 people dead and 2,750 injured, according to Palestinian medical sources cited by CNN. The United Nations estimates that at least 25 percent of Palestinians killed have been civilians.