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Olmert defends Gaza onslaught as death toll hits 50
Cat : Nazism
Date : 2006-07-12 09:44:11                      Reader : 279
all are Palestinians, the west approves without reserve such crimes in spite the fact that Palestinians are also Semites !!
What hypocrisy and dual standards have the west with regard to human rights.
We hope UN and human rights council will take measures to stop onslaught of Palestinians as it is the US concept of freedom and democracy to kill Palestinians without even denial of such Nazi crimes !!

Associated France Press (AFP) 12/7/2006

Olmert defends Gaza onslaught as death toll hits 50


by Sakher Abu El Oun

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Nine Palestinians were killed as Israel pounded Gaza with deadly air strikes and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert defended the massive military offensive in the face of international criticism.
Despite the mounting toll, Hamas’s exiled political chief insisted the captured soldier at the heart of the worst Middle East crisis in months -- and the deadliest in four years -- would not be freed without a swap for Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has refused to negotiate with Hamas or free prisoners in exchange for the missing teenage corporal, pressing on regardless with its deadly offensive in which three football-playing adolescents were among the dead Monday.

"We haven’t set a particular timetable for this operation. We will continue in places, in time, in measures that will suit our purposes," said Olmert, who is facing the biggest test of his premiership in the crisis.

"I think that once the Qassam (rocket) shooting will be stopped and the terrorist actions against innocent civilians will be halted altogether, there will be no need for any Israeli action in Gaza," he said.

At least 50 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed since Israel tanks and troops poured into the Gaza Strip on July 5 in a bid to stop Palestinian rocket attacks and secure Corporal Gilad Shalit’s release.

Four Palestinian teenagers, whom local medical sources said were unarmed, died and another four people were wounded in the latest Israeli air strikes over the Gaza Strip after dark Monday.

Witnesses said the victims were playing football close to an area where militants had fired makeshift rockets towards Israel a short time earlier. One rocket was reported to have landed on Israeli territory without causing damage or casualties.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the air raid had targeted a rocket-launching cell in northern Gaza in the Beit Hanun area.

Two militants from Hamas’s armed wing and two from rival Islamic Jihad were killed in earlier strikes, and at least another 12 bystanders were hurt. An eighth Palestinian died of his injuries elsewhere in Gaza.

Israel has warned that troops are likely to be in for the long haul, rejecting a call by Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniya for a mutual ceasefire but denying that the offensive aims to topple his Hamas government.

"This government is terror," Olmert said, but "we have no particular desire to topple the Hamas government as a policy."

Hamas, which has seen its government offices bombed in Israeli air strikes since Shalit’s capture, for which the Hamas armed wing claimed joint responsibility, has warned the assault is complicating mediation efforts aimed at freeing the corporal.

But Olmert reiterated he would not negotiate with Hamas, which officially advocates the destruction of the Jewish state, or release prisoners in a swap for Shalit as his captors have demanded.

Moving into land evacuated in September after a 38-year occupation, ground forces have been backed by helicopter gunships and drones in wave after wave of air strikes for two straight weeks of overnight bombardment.

Olmert rejected international charges that the Israeli response to the soldier’s capture was disproportionate, claiming that Israel’s historic pullout from Gaza last year had only been followed up by continued violence.

"What exactly is the criterion by which one measures the proportion of more than 1,000 missiles fired at innocent civilians against the measures taken by Israel?" he asked.

Militants have fired at least 30 makeshift rockets towards Israel since the army began a vast operation in the northern Gaza Strip late Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas left on a surprise visit to Jordan for talks with Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit at the request of King Abdullah II to discuss "regional developments", an official told AFP.

Aid groups have expressed concern about the difficulties of providing assistance to 1.4 million people living in Gaza following months of financial crisis and the suspension of direct Western aid to the Hamas-led government.

Exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal -- one of Israel’s most wanted men -- convened a rare news conference in Damascus Monday to declare that the captured soldier was being treated as a prisoner of war.

"There will be no freedom for the Israeli prisoner without an exchange involving Palestinian detainees," he stressed, while vowing that Shalit’s life would be protected.

Although Israel has flatly refused any question of a "swap", one minister did suggest the Jewish state would be prepared to free some prisoners, as had been under discussion before, if militants first released Shalit.

"If the soldier is released, we could again consider a release of prisoners as we were doing before his abduction," Interior Minister Roni Bar-On said.

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