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Death toll tops 100 in Israel's Gaza offensive
Cat : Nazism
Date : 2006-07-22 12:26:37                      Reader : 330
The world kept silent , but for one military captured by Palestinians , US finds that terrorism !! But for Israel all is self defense !! That is congress and House of Representatives concept of democracy and human rights. Then why Muslims hate US freedom and democracy ?!


Associated France Press (AFP) 22/7/2006

Death toll tops 100 in Israel’s Gaza offensive


by Adel Zaanoun

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Four Palestinians were killed as the death toll from Israel’s Gaza offensive shot to over 100 and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan renewed calls for an end to "disproportionate" violence.

At least 106 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have now been killed in the impoverished territory since Israel on July 5 stepped up its operation with the aim of retrieving a missing soldier and stopping militant rocket fire.

The Jewish state has ignored repeated international calls for restraint, and the latest Palestinians to die -- a militant from the armed wing of the governing Hamas, and his family -- were killed when tank fire hit their home.

Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniya, whose Hamas-led government has seen its ministries bombed and ministers arrested, warned Arabs and Palestinians were at "strategic risk" from Israel’s parallel offensives in Gaza and Lebanon.

Medical sources said that besides the militant from Hamas, whose armed wing claimed joint responsibility for the capture of the missing teenage Israeli soldier, his mother and two other members of the family were killed.

Three other people, including a three-year-old girl, were wounded in the incident in eastern Gaza City, one day after the Israeli military warned that civilian homes storing weapons and sheltering "terrorists" were now a target.

The army said two men armed with an anti-tank missile had been spotted on the balcony of a house ready to fire at forces.

"The force responded with tank fire and identified hitting them. One of them is a Hamas terrorist," a spokeswoman said, accusing Palestinian "terrorists" of operating from within the civilian population.

Ground troops on Friday were operating in southern Gaza and the Karni area, east of Gaza City, looking for tunnels and explosives, having withdrawn overnight from the Maghazi refugee camp after a bloody two-day incursion.

A local official from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said 16 hectares (40 acres) of fields, mostly olive groves, were ravaged in the operation and that around 10 homes had been damaged by tanks and bulldozers.

"It’s like a tsunami. Eight dunums (0.8 hectares) of olive trees belonging to me have been destroyed," said local resident Abdelrahim Said.

Annan on Thursday lodged the latest international appeal for restraint, calling for an immediate end to what he called the "indiscriminate and disproportionate" violence in the Gaza Strip.

Without the immediate cessation of such violence and the reopening of closed crossing points, "Gaza will continue to be sucked in a downward spiral of suffering and chaos, and the region further inflamed," he said.

Living conditions for the 1.4 million people in densely-packed Gaza have badly deteriorated since the West suspended direct aid to the Hamas-led government, plunging the territory deeper into financial crisis.

"What is happening is a strategic risk for Palestinian unity and the Arab nation because this war goes beyond its goals," Haniya said in an address delivered in a mosque in Gaza City’s Shatti refugee camp.

Haniya said Israel’s "war" was seeking to "overthrow the government in arresting ministers and bombing ministries," to "finish with the Palestinian cause" and "sow division".

Israel has been operating inside Gaza since June 28, when troops rolled back into the territory in a bid to retrieve Corporal Gilad Shalit, whose capture on June 25 sparked the worst Israeli-Palestinian crisis in months.

Haniya said a swap of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit was "a national Palestinian demand".

Israel is also waging a second front in Lebanon, where the military is battling Hezbollah guerrillas, who captured another two servicemen on July 12, in which close to 330 people in Lebanon and 33 Israelis have been killed.

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