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.

 

Syria Kurds vow to cleanse enclave from Turkish 'scourges'

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians

Saudi Arabia intercepts new Yemen rebel missile attack

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan

Bitcoin appeal beats ban and warnings in Jordan

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Saudi to give Yemen government $2bn bailout

Israeli police find missing Briton’s belongings in desert

Algeria gas plant workers mark five years since jihadist siege

UN says over 5000 children killed or injured in Yemen war

European leaders’ response to Iran protests raises questions

Erdogan to visit Pope Francis next month

Iran slams US-backed 'border security force' in Syria

Palestinian suspension of Israel recognition unlikely for now

Jordan to hike fuel, bread prices

Yemen rebels free journalist detained since August

Palestinian reconciliation brings no change for Gazans

Sudan police use force, tear gas against protesters

Both hardliners and moderates have failed Iranians

Erdogan says Turkish military op in Syria's Afrin to be supported by rebels

UAE to lodge complaint over Qatar flight 'interception'

UN says 22 million Yemenis in need of aid

Minorities in north Iraq look to post-jihadist future

US-purchased cranes arrive at Yemen rebel-held port

Palestinian leaders call for suspension of recognition of Israel

Morocco dirham stable after flexible FX system introduction

10 killed in clashes at Tripoli airport

Sisi vows to protect Egypt's water supply

Palestinians meet to respond to Trump's 'slap of the century'

Hezbollah’s popular support jeopardises Lebanon’s alliances

European judicial opinion could deal fresh blow to Brussels-Rabat ties

Turkey plane plunged off runway due to ‘engine surge’

Iran oil tanker's sinking off China raises environmental fears

Protests held on Tunisia uprising anniversary

Double suicide bombing shakes in Baghdad

Iranian oil tanker sinks engulfed in flames

Will Abdullah Gul challenge Erdogan?

Hamas official wounded in car bomb attack in Lebanon

Iraqi PM Abadi announces candidacy for May elections