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Israel rejects militant demands as jets strike Gaza
Cat : Israel and Zionism
Date : 2006-07-01 17:33:47                      Reader : 277
and still Bush does not know why US is hated in Muslim world!! Simply because Muslims hate freedom and democracy in American way!!
Israel being superior military, will always prefer war, and continue occupying Palestine lands. Resistance by Americans is terrorism. Kidnapping a soldier is terrorism, but state terrorism is defense. It seems axe of evil has similarity in Iraq and Palestine.
Now the question is about UN and world community. No action at all against axe of evil that challenges international resolutions , why?! Why should women and children in hundreds are kept in Israeli prisons!!
Associated France Press 1/7/2006
Israel rejects militant demands as jets strike Gaza
by Adel Zaanoun
GAZA CITY (AFP) -        Israel has rejected Palestinian demands to free 1,000 prisoners as its warplanes pounded the        Gaza Strip for a fourth straight night in a deepening crisis over a captured soldier.
The regional fallout from the standoff also widened with Washington backing its key ally in holding arch-foe        Syria at least partially responsible for the escalation in the Middle East.
The three Palestinian militant groups which seized 19-year-old Corporal Gilad Shalit in a deadly attack on an army post six days ago issued a new demand that Israel free 1,OOO prisoners.
The Popular Resistance Committees, the armed wing of the governing Hamas movement and the previously unknown Army of Islam said they were seeking the release of "1,000 Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and other prisoners".
The statement did not explicitly say the releases were conditions for securing the release of Shalit, who Israeli television reported Friday was alive and had received medical treatment.
It said all detained Palestinian militant leaders as well as elderly and sick detainees should be freed, and reiterated an earlier demand for the release of women and juvenile prisoners.
The statement also urged Israel to end its military reprisals in the Palestinian territories, which have raised international fears of an escalation in the Middle East conflict that could spread through the region.
But Israel rejected the demands.
"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been clear on this point. There will be no negotiations with the kidnappers. If Gilad Shalit is not freed, Israel will do what it necessary," said foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev.
Overnight, fresh air strikes targeted Hamas and        Fatah training camps and potential escape routes in a bid to prevent militants moving the soldier from the southern Gaza Strip where he is currently believed to be held.
Gunboats and ground forces also fired a barrage of around 350 artillery rounds on the Gaza Strip, although Israel has so far held off from launching a threatened ground offensive from the north.
No casualties were reported in the latest stage of the largest Israeli military operation since it pulled out of Gaza last September, ending a 38-year-occupation of the tiny coastal territory.
About 5,000 troops and colums of Israeli tanks are poised on the Gaza border but the government ordered a suspension to a ground offensive launched Wednesday to allow space for diplomatic efforts to secure Shalit's release.
Egypt, which is trying to broker a way out of the crisis, said Friday that Hamas had agreed to secure his release but that Israel had not agreed to the conditions, which it did not specify.
As the international community appealed to both sides to show restraint, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was preparing to visit Moscow on Monday for talks with Russian President        Vladimir Putin.
The UN Security Council also debated crisis Friday, with Israeli and Palestinian representatives and their allies trading barbs.
"We would not be where we are right now if it were not for Syria's support and harboring of terrorists," US ambassador John Bolton said.
Bolton pressed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to turn over for prosecution Khaled Meshaal, Hamas's exiled political leader who lives in Damascus and who famously escaped a Mossad attempt on his life in 1997.
"In addition, we call upon Syria to stop financing the terrorists and stop cooperating with other states, such as        Iran, which finance terrorists," Bolton said.
Hamas said it was working towards freeing the soldier but vowed that the "barbaric aggression" by Israel would not topple its administration, which took office in March but is boycotted politically and financially by the West.
"We are working to end this crisis but the aggression must stop and the siege has to be lifted," prime minister Ismail Haniya said in his first public comments on the crisis Friday.
A fighter from the hardline Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement was killed in an air strike overnight Thursday, while another militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, linked to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party, was shot dead in the        West Bank.
Israeli police denied claims by the Al-Aqsa Brigades Saturday that a second Israeli soldier had been snatched and would be killed unless Israel ended its military offensive.
Israel had further ratcheted up the pressure on the Palestinian leadership Friday by revoking the Jerusalem residency rights of a Hamas minister and three MPs, meaning their likely expulsion from the occupied east of the Holy City.
Israeli troops rounded up scores of Hamas members in a massive West Bank sweep the day before, including eight ministers -- a third of the Palestinian cabinet -- and 24 MPs.
"If the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit does not return alive, there is no more Hamas government. Israel will erase this concept from the Middle Eastern political map," warned Israel's biggest selling daily Yediot Aharonot.
Many parts of Gaza, already facing a dire humanitarian crisis because of a cut in Western aid since Hamas took office, are without electricity and water because of the Israeli strikes.
Israel's offensive -- and a perceived lack of action by world leaders -- has drawn fierce criticism in the Arab world.
"This crazy adventure will light more than one big fire instead of containing a small issue over the abduction of the Israeli soldier," read an editorial in Egypt's state-owned Al-Ahram.

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