Fatah calls for intervention in Israeli strikes 23Mar11 March 24, 2011

Ma’an News Agency -  23 March 2011

Palestinian political group Fatah issued a statement Wednesday calling for an international intervention that would put “immediate pressure on Israel to stop its attacks against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

Fatah spokesman, Ahmad Assaf, who issued the statement on behalf of the party, said “The international position should be courageous,” and called on the sides to take measures to stop Israel from “considering itself above the law.”

Assaf labeled the killing of civilians in Gaza on Saturday and Tuesday, on top of persistent attacks against Gaza residents, a “genocide, which the international community must put a stop to.”

He said Fatah believed Israel had a political aim to their Tuesday attacks, which saw four civilians and four militants killed in separate incidents. “The strikes aimed at destroying national unity,” he said.

Assaf further called on Hamas to “spare the Palestinian people from new human tragedies and destruction,” in an apparent reference to the steady flow of projectile fire launched by factions toward Israel, and a prod to the party to push forward with unity measures.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier in the week that Abbas could choose between “peace with Israel or Hamas,” while the leader of the country’s opposition Tipzi Livni was quoted Saturday by Israeli news website Ynet saying, “The right way to deal with it [projectile fire from Gaza] is with force, just like Israel did during and after Operation Cast Lead.”

On Wednesday morning, Abbas asked the Russian foreign minister to exert pressure on Israel, and demand a halt to what he described as an “escalation” against Gaza, as the UN’s Middle East Peace envoy Robert Serry condemned the “killing of three Palestinian children and their uncle and the wounding of thirteen other civilians by an Israeli tank shell.”

Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights called the recent set of Israeli strikes a “war crime,” and said evidence indicated that there were deliberate attacks on civilians, including the two killed on Saturday.


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