The Palestinian government in Gaza headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has called on the Arab League to intervene immediately to put an end to “Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people and to stop its aggression on the Gaza Strip”. Commenting in a written statement, the head of the government press office also called on international institutions and human rights organisations to stand up to their responsibilities for protecting civilians who are subjected to frequent raids by Israeli land and air forces.
“The Israelis are trying to score electoral points at the cost of Palestinian blood,” said Ihab Ghussein. “The victims of the occupation forces’ apparent escalation in Gaza several days ago and ongoing attacks include four martyrs and eight wounded in a series of raids on the Gaza Strip yesterday,” he noted.
“This follows Israeli threats of a major military strike on Gaza,” added Ghussein, “and proves that the criminal mentality behind such moves is attempting to push the Gaza Strip towards further escalation in which yet more innocent people will be killed.”
The government spokesman pointed out that this Israeli aggression came just hours after the Emir of Qatar’s visit to the Gaza Strip. “This suggests that the occupation authorities are enraged by the success of the Palestinian government in Gaza – after years of a blockade and aggression – to break the political and economic siege on its land.” He praised the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in the face of this unjust assault, and praised Palestinian resistance, “which defends the people against Israeli aggression”.
Since Tuesday’s landmark visit by the Emir of Qatar, four Palestinians have been killed and several others wounded in a series of raids carried out by Israeli aircraft. The Palestinian resistance responded by firing dozens of rockets at the military sites and settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip, where five Israelis were reported to have been injured.
Earlier this week, Britain’s Minister with responsibility for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, told MPs, “Over 50 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza between 7-9 October, following Israeli airstrikes that killed two suspected Palestinian militants and wounded 11 civilians.” (Emphasis added.)
Despite his own admission that rocket attacks from Gaza are Palestinian responses to Israeli airstrikes, Burt added, “We have condemned indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel and continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint and prevent civilian casualties and loss of life.”
Commentators have pointed out that such duplicity virtually gives Israel the green light to do whatever it wants, something apparently picked up by Israel’s Minister of Defence. Ehud Barak warned that his country will respond to the Palestinian resistance “through the proper method and time”.