Israel warlike on wartime anniversary

Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:3AM
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Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi
Israeli military chief, speaking on the anniversary of Israel’s deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, says his forces are ready for a new war on the besieged enclave.

Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi said on Monday in Tel Aviv, “We see the Hamas as responsible for the situation in Gaza and we take him (Hamas) as accountable for that. We don’t want to escalate the situation but we will be ready for any development,” the Associated Press reported.

The comments came in apparent reference to home-made projectiles, reportedly flown from Gaza, which are seldom known to have caused any casualties or considerable damage to Israeli properties.

Under the pretext of responding to the rocket attacks, Israel’s military launches regular disproportionate attacks on Gaza, not refraining from inflicting human or material losses.

On Sunday, Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the east of the southern city of Khan Younis in the strip, AFP reported. Earlier in the month, at least five people were killed by an Israeli aerial assault on the town of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza.

Ashkenazi said earlier in December that “the next round (of fighting) will be extensive,” Israeli website Ynetnews had reported.

The December 2008-January 2009 operations killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, inflicting a damage of above $1.6 billion on the coastal sliver’s economy.

The war either destroyed or badly damaged thousands of homes in Gaza, putting the enclave on a long road to recovery amid a strict siege, which has been in place since mid-June 2007.

The United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict has found Tel Aviv guilty of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the deadly operation.

The report by the UN mission blamed Israel for deliberate targeting of civilians and using white phosphorus bombs in residential areas, notably on the UN Relief and Works Agency compound in the Gaza City as well as two Gaza-based hospitals.

HN/MGH

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