First Published: 2009-01-13

 
Hamas leader boosts morale of bombarded Gazans
 

Haniya: blood of Palestinian children in Gaza would 'curse' President Bush, Israeli leaders.

 

Middle East Online

Haniya: 'Gaza will not fall'

GAZA CITY - The leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip vowed on Monday the Palestinian resistance, backed by the population, would emerge victorious over Israel's offensive.

"We are approaching victory," Ismail Haniya, the prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, said in his broadcast from an undisclosed location.

"I tell you that after 17 days of this foolish war, Gaza has not been broken and Gaza will not fall."

Haniya also said the "blood of children" who have been killed in the conflict would serve as a "curse which will come back to haunt" US President George W. Bush, as well as the leaders of Israel.

Bush has consistently backed the Israeli military in words and deeds.

Haniya said that Hamas was ready to "examine in a positive manner any initiative which can put an end to this aggression and the blood of our children being shed."

Hamas representatives are currently in Cairo to discuss an Egyptian initiative which calls for an immediate ceasefire and talks on opening Gaza's border crossings and taking steps to prevent arms smuggling.

Haniya said any initiative must insist on "an immediate halt to aggression, the withdrawal of the Zionist forces from the Gaza Strip and the reopening of the border crossings and a total lifting of the siege" of the territory.

Medics said at least another 26 people had been killed by the Israeli military, bringing the overall toll to 918, including 277 children. Another 4,100 have been wounded.

Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed in combat or by rocket attacks since the operation began on December 27.

An Israeli army spokesman said that close to 30 missiles had been launched from Gaza on Monday, although there were no reports of casualties.

A military spokesman said warplanes had hit more than 60 targets during the day.

Israeli officials on Sunday suggested what is now Israel's deadliest onslaught against Gaza could be approaching its end.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who is to head to the Middle East later this week, called on Israel and Hamas to immediately stop the fighting, saying "too many people have died."

"We have a Security Council resolution demanding an immediate and enduring ceasefire. This resolution must be observed."

Meanwhile Israel suffered another humiliating reverse at the hands of the United Nations, when the world body's Human Rights Council adopted a resolution accusing it of "grave" human rights violations against Palestinians.

Attention was also focusing on the task of rebuilding Gaza after the war, with the Czech Republic, which currently holds the revolving EU presidency, saying it would convene a donor conference to address humanitarian needs.

Aid deliveries have been massively disrupted by Israel, with agencies warning that Palestinian residents are running out of food and even having to burn their furniture to stay warm in the bitterly cold nights.

 

Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to 'go home'

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

IS ‘executed’ 116 suspected of Syria regime collaboration

Israel arrests 51 Palestinians for ‘terror-related’ crimes

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

UNICEF says 1,100 children malnourished in Syria’s Ghouta

UN says Yemen children in desperate need of aid

Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem entrance in protest

Six terror suspects arrested in Morocco

EU announces 106 million euros in aid for Sudan

French judges to rule on whether 'Jihad' is acceptable name

Saudi Aramco chief confirms IPO despite doubts

Lack of accountability hinders governing in Morocco, analysts say

Sudan editor convicted after Bashirs accused of graft

Russia’s Lavrov urges Iraq-Kurd dialogue

Kurds to arrest 11 Iraqis in response to similar Baghdad move

Car bomb attack kills 9 in south Yemen military base

Rouhani boasts about Iran’s greatness in region

Iraq unrest highlights long-standing political divisions

Bahrain temporarily frees female activist

Egypt court sentences 11 people to death for 'terrorism'

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

Tillerson woos Gulf allies to curb Iran influence

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike