Sunday, March 27, 2011

Palestinian factions meet over Israeli attacks

PressTV - Palestinian factions meet over Israeli attacks:

Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:42AM
Ashraf Shannon, Press TV, Washington

"Palestinian factions came together Saturday night following a call by Hamas for an urgent meeting to discuss the latest Israeli escalation in attacks on Gaza Strip.

On March 16th an Israeli air strike killed two Hamas police officers--- this was followed by a string of attacks against Gaza civilians killing at least 10 and wounding dozens.

Following their meeting a senior official from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced that Palestinian factions are committed to calming tensions if Israel reciprocates.

Hamas also said the factions confirmed their commitment to not give Israel 'any pretext for attacking'.

The Islamic Jihad movement said it would not allow Israel to use the Gaza Strip for target practice.

The meeting was held amid fears in Gaza of another war similar to Operation Cast Lead which started in late 2008 and stretched into early 2009

The meeting centered around finding ways to avoid new confrontations with Israel following the bloodiest week since Israel ended its war on Gaza in 2009. Now it remains to bee seen if the de facto truce will hold.

2 Gazans killed in Israel air strike
Source: Press TV
Date:  Sun Mar 27, 2011

At least two Palestinians have been killed during a fresh Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics say.

"Two Palestinians were killed and another wounded Sunday morning in an Israeli air raid on targets east of Jabaliya," Adham Abu Senmya, a spokesman for the Gaza emergency services, told AFP.

The attack came a day after several Palestinian factions, including the Hamas resistance movement, expressed commitment to a national agreement to restore calm with Tel Aviv.

After a week of deadly bombardments of the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tel Aviv was ready to act with "great force" against Palestinians.

Hamas announced on Saturday that it was committed like other factions to calm and that it would not give Israel "any pretext to launch another war against Gaza."

"Palestinian factions have discussed the recent surge in Israeli attacks on Gaza. They are all committed to remaining calm in order to prevent the occupation [Israeli] forces from committing any more crimes against humanity," said Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official.

The Islamic Jihad movement, however, said it would not allow Israel to use the Gaza Strip for "target practice."

"We will not accept the situation that Gaza is used for target practice by Israeli forces to show the military skills. We have stated it clearly that any attack will be met with strong response from the Islamic Jihad," a prominent Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh said.

The meeting between Palestinian factions came amid fears that Israel might wage another war against the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have carried out large numbers of ground and air attacks on Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead against the Gaza Strip at the turn of 2009.

More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed during the three-week Israeli land, sea and air offensive in the impoverished coastal sliver. The offensive also inflicted USD 1.6 billion damage to the Gazan economy.

Israel laid an economic siege on the Gaza Strip in June 2007, after Hamas took control of the enclave.

The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

Some 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.

Poverty and unemployment rates stand at approximately 80 percent and 60 percent, respectively, in the Gaza Strip.

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