Qatar: Israel must be punished for aggression
Qatar: Israel must be punished for aggression
“This vicious attack must not pass unpunished,” QNA quoted the premier as saying at a meeting of GCC nations and Russia.
“The UN Security Council must take up its responsibility to secure peace and security in the world,” he said, adding the latest escalation of violence in Gaza is likely to “promote extremism.”
“We reject extremism and terrorism but such irresponsible and unjustified attacks must be condemned by the world,” he said.
Warplanes pounded Gaza for a second day yesterday as three Israelis were killed when a Palestinian rocket struck a house. Thirteen Palestinians have also died since Wednesday.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned as “organized terrorism” the Israeli operation. Iran “strongly condemns the criminal act of Zionist (Israeli) military forces in killing civilians,” ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in remarks published on the website of state broadcaster IRIB.
Mehmanparast said the offensive amounted to “organized terrorism” in the face of what he called “silence of international organizations.”
“Unfortunately the massacre of innocent and defenseless Palestinians has become a routine procedure adopted by the Zionist regime,” he said.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said Israel’s attacks were “unacceptable” and would destabilize the region, in a televised address to the nation yesterday.
It was Mursi’s starkest rhetoric targeting the Jewish state since he took office in June.
“We are in contact with the people of Gaza and with Palestinians and we stand by them until we stop the aggression and we do not accept under any circumstances the continuation of this aggression on the Strip,” Mursi said.
“The Israelis must realize that this aggression is unacceptable and would only lead to instability in the region and would negatively and greatly impact the security of the region,” he said.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal condemned the killing of Ahmed Al-Jabari and vowed to continue the “resistance” against Israel.
“Men and women in Palestine, we will continue the resistance,” Meshaal said at a meeting of Islamic leaders in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
Israel will never defeat Gaza, Meshaal said. “This enemy is weak and cannot vanquish Gaza.”
Palestinian officials say President Mahmoud Abbas has cut short a trip to Europe to deal with the crisis.
Palestinian official Saeb Erekat says Abbas canceled planned meetings in Switzerland yesterday to rush back to the West Bank.
Erekat harshly condemned Israel’s military operation, saying the Palestinians “hold Israel fully responsible for the consequences of this act of aggression.”
Russia yesterday condemned Israel’s “disproportionate” use of force in air strikes while calling on Palestinian militants to halt firing rockets.
“Attacks on the south of Israel and the disproportionate strikes on Gaza — especially when civilians are killed on both sides — are completely unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.
The Russian official stressed that the violence was especially dangerous because it came against the backdrop of existing regional instability linked to the conflict in Syria and last year’s war in Libya.
Lukashevich said Israel and the Palestinians were now pursuing a course that could lead to still further bloodshed between them while threatening to degenerate into a broader conflict. “We strongly appeal on all the involved parties to immediately end their armed confrontation and to keep the conflict from resulting in still further bloodshed.”
Israeli planes hit 25 targets in response to Gaza rocket fire
JERUSALEM: Israeli jets struck 25 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday after militants launched rockets and mortar shells at Israeli territory, the military said.
Two Hamas security men were lightly hurt in one air strike in the southern Gaza Strip, residents said. No casualties were reported in Israel after one of the most intense recent barrages of militant rocket launches and Israeli air strikes.
Air raid sirens and Israeli phone warning applications sounded throughout the pre-dawn hours.
The military counted 30 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli territory and said its Iron Dome anti-missile shield intercepted seven rockets.
Since its last war with Gaza’s dominant Hamas in 2014, Israel has stepped up efforts to prevent cross-border attacks, improving rocket interceptors and investing in technologies for detecting and destroying guerrilla tunnels.
In recent weeks, Palestinians have sent kites dangling coal embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to arid farmland and forests, others have carried small explosive devices in a new tactic that has caused extensive damage.
At least 127 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30 and the men sending the kites over the fence believe they have found an effective new weapon.
Israel’s deadly tactics in confronting the weekly Friday protests have drawn international condemnation.
Palestinians say the protests are an outpouring of rage by people demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from following the founding of Israel 70 years ago.
Israel says the demonstrations are organized by the Islamist group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel’s right to exist. Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked the violence, a charge Hamas denies.
Around two million people live in Gaza, most of them the stateless descendants of refugees from what is now Israel. The territory has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, during which it has fought three wars against Israel.
Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the strip, citing security reasons, which has caused an economic crisis and collapse in living standards there over the past decade.