Abbas wants rocket fire to end
Photo: AP

Abbas urges Israel, Hamas to end violence

Palestinian leader says Israel should end Gaza strikes, calls on Palestinian groups to cease rocket fire on Israeli communities. US State Department urges Israel to 'consider consequences' of its actions

Calm urged as tensions rise in south: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to stop all strikes in Gaza Friday and urged Palestinian groups to halt ongoing rocket attacks on Israel, implying that the Qassams targeting Israeli communities hurt the Palestinians.


"It is in the interest of the Palestinian people not to give Israel any pretext to continue its aggressions," a statement from the Palestinian leader's office said.


Against the backdrop of apparent IDF preparations to embark on a large-scale operation in Gaza, Abbas called Israel's threats to target the Strip "dangerous."


"(Abbas) demands that Israel halt its attack and demands that all factions adhere to immediate calm and to stop the firing of rockets," the statement said.


Army hits Hamas targets

Meanwhile, the US State Department urged Israel to "consider the consequences" of any action and Middle East envoy Tony Blair said everything must be done to avoid "even more victims of the situation created in Gaza."


However, despite the calls tensions remain high around the Strip while the heightened level of violence that has plagued the region in recent days continued Friday.


The Palestinians fired more than 15 rockets at southern Israeli communities throughout the day, including a rocket that landed near a group of Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset members who toured the area.


Meanwhile, Friday evening the IDF renewed its strikes on Gaza and targeted a Hamas arms production site in the center of the Strip, as well as a rocket launcher in northern Gaza. The army said that that the targets were hit in both strikes, but no injuries were reported.


פרסום ראשון: 02.29.08, 22:49
 new comment
This will delete your current comment