27 December 2008, 11:30am: Israel start the Operation Cast Lead bombing Gaza
3 January 2009, ground invasion began, with mechanised infantry, armour, and artillery units, supported by helicopter gunships
8 January 2009, UN Security Council approves resolution 1860 calling for an immediate ceasefire and raising concerns regarding the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip
18 January 2009, Israel announces a unilateral ceasefire with Hamas, this came into effect 2 a.m. local time
during the 23 days operation:
1320 Palestinian killed of which 417 children and 108 women. In total 700 civilians were killed.
5340 injured among which more than 500 are in critical situation.
13 Israelis killed
20,000 homes have been damaged
2,000 homes destroyed
50,800 Gazans were left homeless.
400,000 Gazans were left without running water
Estimated cost of rebuilding Gaza will exceed $1bn
20 January 2009, the Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait ended in a general statement due to differences about Gaza preventing a stronger closing statement.
20 January 2009, Barak Hussain Obama is sworn as the 44th President of the United States of America. He is the first African American President to lead the US, more than 2 million people have attended the inauguration in Washington DC, estimates that more than 1 billion people have watched the proceedings on screen.
Not since Kennedy, and some say not never, has an American President has had such attention with such high hopes, from around the world resting on his shoulders. In his inauguration speech, President Obama said:
“we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord”
“we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.”
“we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”
Dare we grieve the dead?
Dare we hope for the living?