'Concerned' Obama breaks silence on Gaza

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The Independent US

The US President-elect Barack Obama today expressed deep concern about the loss of civilian lives in Gaza and Israel.

Speaking after Israeli tank shells killed at least 40 Palestinians at a UN school where civilians had taken shelter, Obama told reporters "the loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel is a source of deep concern for me."

But Obama otherwise said he would adhere to his principle that only US President George Bush would speak for American foreign policy at this time, but said he would have plenty more to say after his 20 January inauguration.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Gordon Brown warned that the Middle East was facing its "darkest moment yet" amid more bloodshed in Gaza tonight - but expressed hope that a deal could be struck for an immediate ceasefire.

Speaking after Israeli airstrikes near UN schools in the territory reportedly killed scores of people, the Prime Minister said the situation was a "humanitarian crisis".

"This is the darkest moment yet for the Middle East and it affects the whole of the world," he said.

"It's because of that that we must get humanitarian aid that we are promising in."