Israeli air-strikes on the Gaza Strip entered a fourth day Dec. 30, with raids on a number of Hamas government buildings and security installations, as well as the Islamic University. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset that Israel is engaged in an “all-out war with Hamas.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate ceasefire and condemned both Israel and Hamas. While recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself from rocket attacks, he condemned its “excessive use of force.” The death toll has surpassed 350, some 60 of them civilians, by a UN count. (BBC News, IHT, Dec. 30)
President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah leadership called an all-factions meeting to address the crisis, but Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the An-Nasser Brigades (armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees) refused to participate. Islamic Jihad said in a statement that “what is required now is resistance.” (Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 29)
See our last post on Gaza.
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