Israeli highhandedness not acceptable: UAE paper

Dubai: A UAE paper has described Israeli highhandedness in Gaza as unacceptable. ”Israel has amassed forces on the border with the Gaza Strip poised for a new invasion of the Palestinian enclave. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel’s bombardment of Gaza on Wednesday marks only the beginning of military operations, just hours after Israeli President Shimon Peres called President Obama to update him on the airstrikes, ” wrote The Gulf Today in its daily comment.

”Israel killed the military commander of Hamas in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. This latest surge of violence between Israel and Gaza Palestinians occurred after Israel shot and killed at least two Gazans and intruded into Gaza with tanks and bulldozers. In response, Palestinians fired a missile at an Israeli army jeep, wounding four soldiers to which Israel responded with an extended bombardment of airstrikes. But the Israeli leadership continues to try and claim Hamas initiated the flare up in violence, issuing the same statements of war rhetoric as always.

”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that no country in the world would accept a situation in which rockets are fired at its citizens and that Israel can’t accept it either.

”At the same time, Netanyahu did not explain why the Gazans should accept a situation in which airstrikes, targeted killings, and total economic warfare are unleashed on Palestinians for years on end.

”Israel’s Meretz Party leader Zahava Galon has warned that the programme of airstrikes and assassinations in Gaza will not be productive. “The only way to bring peace and quiet in the long-term to (southern Israel) and communities in Gaza is through the ceasefire agreement and not high profile assassinations,” Galon said.

”Nitzan Horowitz, another Meretz member, posted on his Facebook: “Stop the escalation in Gaza. It is a petty bloody circle. War will not solve anything.” ”However, Israeli officials say the planned operation will be a protracted round of attacks aimed at proving Israel retains a “deterrent” capability. The administration of US President Barack Obama loudly cheered Wednesday’s Israeli bombardment and other operations, insisting Israel has a “right” to launch such attacks as part of its “self-defence” and condemning Gaza Palestinians for retaliatory rocket fire.

”The State Department was the first to issue a statement, along with a travel warning for Americans who may be going to southern Israel. The statement insisted there was “no justification” for the Palestinians to launch any attacks, and claiming Israel was trying not to kill civilians.

”Obama’s own statement was in much the same vein, insisting that the Palestinians stop retaliating against southern Israel as a way to “deescalate” the situation. It seems unlikely the Palestinians will have any impact either way, however, as Israeli officials are openly talking about making this a long campaign of strikes, and one that, as usual, the US will continue to defend in the international community.

”One had expected Obama, having secured re-election, would have shifted his approach to the Palestinians and called a spade a spade. It seems that the expectation was ill-founded.’

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