Abbas decries Israeli aggression amid Gaza rocket attacks
Mar 14, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Mar 14, 2014 12:00 am
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas yesterday condemned the military escalation in and around the Gaza Strip, including rocket fire on Israel, at a news conference in Bethlehem
RAMALLAH – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday denounced recent Israeli "aggression" against the Gaza Strip, as well as retaliatory rocket salvoes fired from the Palestinian enclave into Israel. " Israel is killing Palestinians in cold blood,"
Abbas told a joint press conference with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, referring to an Israeli airstrike on Tuesday that killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and several other deadly incidents in the West Bank. "We denounce the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, as well as the rockets fired from Gaza into Israeli towns," he said in a reference to three days of tit-for-tat violence between Israel and Gaza-based resistance groups.
On Monday, Saji Darwish, 22, was killed after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian stone-throwers near the Jewish-only Beit El settlement near Ramallah in the West Bank.
On the same day, Israeli security forces killed a 38-year-old Palestinian-Jordanian man at a border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan.
Another Palestinian man was killed in a car accident on Tuesday while being pursued by Israeli troops in the northern West Bank.
Israel struck several targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night after Palestinian resistance fighters fired dozens of rockets at Jewish settlements in southern Israel, none of which caused any casualties.
The Gaza-based Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility for Wednesday's rocket barrage, which came in retaliation for the killing one day earlier of three of its fighters in an Israeli airstrike.
The Israeli military has sealed all border crossings with the embattled coastal strip - banning the entry of foodstuffs and other vital commodities - and has prohibited thousands of Palestinian detainees from receiving visitors.
Regarding ongoing peace talks with Israel, Abbas said the PA had not yet received a proposed framework agreement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, adding that recent leaks about the plan's details were nothing more than media speculation.
He went on to voice hope that a breakthrough could be achieved before the expiry in late April of a deadline for negotiations, dismissing talk of a deadline extension.
Direct U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed in Washington last summer after a nearly threeyear hiatus.