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Hamas calls day of mourning; Abbas demands end to fire
Published Wednesday 23/03/2011 (updated) 24/03/2011 20:00
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(L-R) President Mahmoud Abbas; Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh;
Prime Minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad. [MaanImages]
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza government officials declared Wednesday a day of mourning, with a collective funeral in central Gaza City at midday, for the four civilians and four militants killed by Israeli fire a day earlier.

Officials called on residents of Gaza to join the funeral procession.

In Moscow, President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Russian foreign minister to exert pressure on Israel, and demand a halt to what he described as an "escalation" against Gaza.

PLO Executive Committee Member in Gaza Zakariyya Al-Agha condemned the deaths as a "massacre" of the Ash-Shuja'iyya neighborhood, saying in a statement that the deaths "translated into deeds the Israeli minister's remarks threatening another Cast Lead."

Israel's opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said Saturday that the time had come for a fresh military campaign against Gaza, in the wake of a barrage of 50 projectiles which landed in the western Negev, causing no damage or injuries.

"The right way to deal with it is with force, just like Israel did during and after Operation Cast Lead," Israeli news website Ynet quoted Livni telling Gaza-vicinity Israeli local authority heads.

In January, Gaza's main militant factions confirmed a year-old truce with Israel, after weeks of increased rocket fire and spiraling tensions along the border prompted a warning from Arab leaders that Gaza was risking a major new Israeli invasion.

Abbas told reporters in Moscow that "there has always been an Israeli escalation in Gaza, West Bank, and Jerusalem," adding that the latest instance of escalation "should not be a reason not to achieve national unity."
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1 ) Tobias / US
23/03/2011 13:42

"Officials called on residents of Gaza to join the funeral procession",
so that the terrorists would have enough human-shields around,
for their own safety !!!




2 ) mohamed / somalia
23/03/2011 17:04
mr abbas you are talking while the people are sufffering on the ground look in gaza

3 ) Outsider / EU
23/03/2011 18:28
1) You're not implying that the IDF would ever attack a funeral, are you? I thought only settlers could do that.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
23/03/2011 19:58
re Tobias #1 '...human shields...' You are so tedious, unimaginatively parroting Israeli propaganda. First off, it is the IDF that is the only group that is on record as using 'human shields' -- so for its apologists to accuse others of the tactic is ridiculous. Secondly, what good would it do Israel's enemies to use civilians as 'human shields'? Israel kills civilians without hesitation. It always has. The nation was carved out of the living flesh of the Palestinian people that way.

5 ) A Cooper / UK
23/03/2011 21:09
Tobias, did you think your comment through properly? Maybe you need some help to interpret...'The funeral of four militants and four civilians' ....The criminal entity called Israel don't worry about civilians . If any Hamas target for assassination stood amongst a thousand children, Israel would merely lick 'it's' lips before firing..

6 ) anna / -
23/03/2011 23:13
what is this man, Abbas, doing in Moscow WITH Netanyahu?
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