The Czech Republic, which takes over the European Union's presidency on January 1, defended Israel's strikes against Hamas on Tuesday. The EU has called for a ceasefire to end the violence that has killed almost 350 Palestinians. Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said Israel had the right to defend itself.
"Let us realise one thing: Hamas increased steeply the number of rockets fired at Israel since the ceasefire ended on December 19. That is not acceptable any more," Schwarzenberg told daily Mlada Fronta Dnes in an interview. (Reuters)