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US Blames Bloodshed on Hamas

by IOL (reposted)
CRAWFORD, Texas — While international condemnation for the Israeli onslaught poured in from across the globe, the US, Israel's strategic ally, blamed the killing of more than 225 Palestinians on Hamas.
"The US strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement.

"The cease-fire should be restored immediately," she said.

Some 60 Israeli warplanes and helicopters pounded the overcrowded territory of 1.5 million people, killing at least 225 people in the bloodiest one-day death toll in 60 years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Black smoke billowed over Gaza City, where the dead and wounded lay scattered on the ground after Israel bombed more than 40 security compounds, including two where graduation ceremonies were held for new recruits.

At the main Gaza City graduation ceremony, uniformed bodies lay in a pile and the wounded writhed in pain.

Some rescue workers beat their heads and shouted "God is greatest". One badly wounded man quietly recited verses from the Qur'an.

§US blames Hamas 'thugs' for deaths
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Saturday, December 27, 2008 : White House urges Palestinians to stop rocket attacks as others condemn Israeli raids.

The White House has said that Hamas "thugs" were responsible for provoking the Israeli air raids that killed and injured hundreds of people in the Gaza Strip.

Gordon Johndroe, the Bush administration spokesman, said Israel must try to avoid civilian casualties, but laid the blame for deaths on the Palestinian groups that controls the impoverished territory.

 "These people [Hamas] are nothing but thugs, and so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas," he said.

The remarks late on Saturday came as the United Nations held an emergency meeting to discuss the attacks, and just hours after the Arab League announced it was preparing to hold a summit in Doha, Qatar on January 2.

Johndroe said the US wanted to see the six-month truce between Israel and Hamas, which ended on December 19, restored, but that this could only be done if Palestinian fighters end their missile attacks on Israel.

"If Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel, then Israel would not have a need for strikes in Gaza," he told reporters. "What we've got to see is Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel."

'Israeli aggression'

George Bush, the US president, discussed the fighting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Stephen Hadley, the US national security adviser, and Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, Johndroe said.

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