An Israeli bombardment hit outside a U.N. school where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge on Tuesday, and Palestinian medics said at least 34 people died — many of them children — as international outrage grew over civilian deaths.

President-elect Barack Obama’s studied silence on the subject of Israel’s 10-day-old war against Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip is only partly out of deference to the man who still has the big job for two more weeks.

From Foreign Policy Watch: When President-elect Barack Obama takes office in two weeks, he will immediately be faced with two elusive <span id="SPELLING_ERROR_0" class="blsp-spelling-corrected">foreign</span> policy problems whose resolution has evaded every post-war US president: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the <span id="SPELLING_ERROR_1" class="blsp-spelling-error">Indo</span>-Pakistani rivalry.

Israel seized control of high-rise buildings and attacked houses, mosques and smuggling tunnels as it pressed its offensive against the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers on Monday, while the U.S. joined a stream of countries pushing for a cease-fire.

Thousands protesting Israel’s ground offensive on Gaza converged Sunday in Beirut and Istanbul as the leaders of the only two Mideast Arab nations to sign peace treaties with Israel demanded an end to the attack.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, cutting the coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas militants gained momentum.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – With booms from artillery and airstrikes keeping them awake, the 10 members of Lubna Karam’s family spent the night huddled in the hallway of their Gaza City home.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel assassinated a Hamas strongman Thursday in its first assault on the top leadership of Gaza’s rulers, escalating a crushing aerial offensive even as it declared it was ready to launch a ground invasion.

Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers have taken their battle to the Internet.

The Bush administration called again Monday for a “sustainable cease-fire” in the Mideast and demanded that Hamas stop its attacks on Israel.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel widened its deadliest-ever air offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers Sunday, pounding smuggling tunnels and a central prison, sending more tanks and artillery toward the Gaza border and approving a reserves callup for a possible ground invasion.

  Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing more than 200 people and wounding nearly 400 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years.