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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Abbas: Israel committing ‘Genocide’ in Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas told a crisis meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday that Israel is committing “genocide” in Gaza during its military offensive which has so far killed at least 50 Palestinians.

“It’s genocide -- the killing of entire families is genocide by Israel against our Palestinian people,” Abbas told the crisis meeting of the Palestinian leadership.

“What's happening now is a war against the Palestinian people as a whole and not against the (militant) factions.


“We know that Israel is not defending itself, it is defending settlements, its main project,” said Abbas.

“We are moving in several ways to stop the Israeli aggression and spilling of Palestinian blood, including talking to Egyptian President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.”


The Israeli military said it struck about 200 Hamas targets on the second day of its operation, which it says is needed to end incessant rocket attacks out of Gaza.
Militants, however, continued to fire rocket salvos deep into Israeli territory, and Israel mobilized thousands of forces along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground operation.
The militants on Tuesday launched three rockets towards the southern Israeli town of Dimona and its nuclear reactor on Wednesday, causing no injury or damage, the Israeli military said.

One of the rockets was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defensive shield, and two others fell in open areas. None caused damage or injuries, an army spokesman said.

“The army is ready for all possibilities,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after holding a meeting of his Security Cabinet.
“Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing toward Israeli citizens. The security of Israel's citizens comes first. The operation will expand and continue until the fire toward our towns stops and quiet returns.”
The fighting stepped up as Egypt, which often serves as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, said it was in contact with both sides to end the violence.

“There is no mediation, in the common sense of the word,” said Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty.

“Egyptian diplomatic efforts are aimed at immediately stopping Israeli aggression and ending all mutual violence. (Egyptian) contacts have not yet achieved a result.”

U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said it has been calling for all sides to deescalate the tensions and reiterated Israel's right to self-defense.
Israel warplanes have so far hit 550 targets in Gaza, and Hamas militants have hit back with 165 rockets, some of which struck Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and as far away as Hadera, 116 kilometers (72 miles) to the north of the coastal enclave.
Palestinian fatalities include militants but also women and children. More than 370 people have been wounded.

[With Reuters and AFP]
Last Update: Wednesday, 9 July 2014 KSA 20:26 - GMT 17:26 
 [alarabiya.net]
9/7/14
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