Cease-Fire Coming? Israel Pauses for Gaza Relief Aid

Tuesday's strikes on the U.N. buildings have increased international pressure on Israel to halt the fighting. Responding to the grisly pictures of dead and injured, President-elect Barack Obama weighed in for the first time, saying, "The loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel is a source of deep concern to me, and after Jan. 20 I am going to have plenty to say about the issue."

He promised that his administration would "engage effectively and consistently in trying to resolve the conflicts that exist in the Middle East."

Israeli and Palestinian Children Share Fear

The youngest victims -- Israeli and Palestinian children -- are separated by many things, but what they share is fear.

Abed, 12, was taking refuge in the U.N. school in northern Gaza when Israeli shells destroyed it. He escaped. Several friends did not.

"I don't know if they're alive or dead," he said. "It makes me worried and sad."

Across the border in Israel, danger from the sky has forced children to spend several hours a day in a bomb shelter that has been turned into a makeshift playroom underground. Even sleep is no relief for 10-year-old Amit.

"I dream mostly about rockets and sirens and the people who are injured and killed," she said.

Yousef, 9, lives just a couple miles away in Gaza. He is consumed with fear. 

"I don't go out at all. I'm afraid all the time," he said.

Latest Diplomatic Efforts to Halt Fighting

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the principal players in the Gaza offensive -- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni -- met Tuesday night to discuss the operation and will brief the Israeli Cabinet today.

The Israeli Cabinet will discuss its options in light of the mounting civilian casualties and diplomatic efforts moving on several fronts. Several reports indicate that the Israeli military believes it has achieved the bulk of its goals to this point and the question now is whether to expand the campaign or seek a negotiated settlement.

Sami Zyara contributed to the reporting of this story from Gaza; Simon McGregor-Wood, Bruno Nota and Dana Savir from Jerusalem; and Zoe Magee from London.

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