Friday, January 2, 2009

West Bank anger over Gaza raids

this article is taken from:

Hamas made a show of strength at funerals on Friday
Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank have joined demonstrations after a call from Hamas for a "day of wrath" against the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Five Palestinians, including three children, have been killed in the latest Israeli air attacks on Gaza.

More than 400 people are believed to have died in a week of raids on Gaza. Four Israelis have died in the rocket attacks Israel is trying to prevent.
The US said on Friday it wanted a "durable and sustainable" ceasefire.
But US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said any ceasefire should "not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante, where Hamas can continue to launch rockets out of Gaza".

Friday's protests were called after an Israeli air strike hit the home of Nizar Rayan, a firebrand leader of Hamas who refused to go into hiding, killing him and several of his wives and children on Thursday.

"We will not rest until we destroy the Zionist entity," senior Hamas figure Fathi Hammad said at the funeral for the 20 people who died in that attack.

Meanwhile, about 100 foreign passport holders - mainly women married to Palestinians, and their children - have been allowed by Israel to leave Gaza.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool said Palestinian protesters in the West Bank were directing anger not just at Israel but at Arab governments and their own leaders for their failure to stop the offensive.

Thousands gathered in Ramallah, while in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, youths threw stones at security forces, who fired tear gas.

Protests have been held across the Middle East and in several Asian countries, as well as in Australia and Kenya.

Riot police in Jordan reportedly fired tear gas to stop a march on the Israeli embassy, while in Istanbul thousands of Turks burned Israeli flags after main Friday prayers.

The Egyptian authorities deployed thousands of riot police to prevent demonstrations in Cairo. The Islamist opposition group The Muslim Brotherhood said many people had been arrested there.

Continued rocket fire
Three brothers aged seven to 10 were among those who died in an air raid in southern Gaza, medics and witnesses said.
Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel's port of Ashkelon on Friday morning, hitting a block of flats.
Stunned residents spilled on to the street and twisted metal window frames dangled from the building, witnesses say.
Israel says its air campaign - part of a multilayered effort to stop rocket attacks - has been going to plan.

Since the start of Israel's operations in Gaza, Israeli sources say Palestinian militants have fired the following:
27 December 2008: 61 rockets, 33 mortar shells

28 December: 14 rockets, 16 mortar shells

29 December: 57 rockets, 15 mortar shells
30 December: 42 rockets, 6 mortar shells
31 December: 43 rockets, 25 mortar shells
Source: Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Israel

However, BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen says a week of bombardment has not been able stop the rocket fire, and Israel now has to decide whether to send in ground troops.

Many Gaza families have moved away from homes near Israel fearing the start of ground operations by troops and armour massed on the edge of the strip.
On Friday the Israeli army began allowing foreign nationals in Gaza to leave. Correspondents say it is being seen as a possible last move before Israeli tanks roll in.

Israel has declared the area around Gaza a "closed military zone" and has prevented international journalists from entering the strip. However the supreme court has ordered small groups of journalists to be allowed in.

The main UN agency operating in Gaza, Unwra, resumed food deliveries to Gaza on Thursday, but warned of a dire humanitarian situation in the territory.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said there was no need for a pause in bombing on humanitarian grounds and she warned that past ceasefires were used by Hamas to re-arm.

No comments: