Israeli Killings Condemned

By Foreign News Desk
Published: Sunday, June 11, 2006

HAMAS, the Islamic Resistance Movement, fired rockets into Israel, ending a 16-month truce, after eight civilians, including three children, were killed on a Gaza beach by Israeli shelling.

Following Israel’s last massacre and murder of HAMAS’ security chief Jamal Abu Samhadana, HAMAS’ military wing Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades fired rockets into Israel.

Israel has faced harsh reaction for the killing.

Britain, Russia, France, and the Muslim world also condemned Israel.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was deeply disturbed by the killing and called for an investigation.

The killing was described as a “war crime” and “massacre” by several countries that condemned Israel.

First saying “Israel has the right to defend itself,” the United States later expressed its grief over Israel’s killing of innocent civilians.

Turkish Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack and conveyed its concerns.

Announcing it has issued an investigation, Israel insisted it has not attacked civilians.

Israeli Major General Yoav Galant defended the killing may have been the result of a wrong target or another attack that they were not involved in.

About a hundred pro-peace Israelis gathered in front of Israeli Chief of Military Staff Dan Halutz’s house to protest the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s daughter also joined the protest, sources reported.

Attacks to impact referendum negatively
The recent increase in violence is perceived t0 be an attempt by Olmert to provoke the Islamic Resistance movement, HAMAS, and the Palestinians into unwilling acceptance of Israel’s unilateral border lines. It is also seen as a strategy of Olmert to weaken public support for a referendum on a “resolution of double statehood,” a move that is regarded as indirect recognition of Israel’s statehood.

Prior to the recent strikes, a public opinion poll showed over 70 percent of the people supported Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas announced on Saturday that the referendum would be held on July 26.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniye issued a statement declaring he supported dialogue but disapproved the referendum and indicated he would meet with Abbas.

Olmert is struggling to provoke HAMAS back into the spiral of violence in order to block the referendum, Israeli human rights organizations said.