Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Gaza's prime minister Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Sudan to campaign for defence of Jerusalem


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh arrived in the Sudanese capital on Tuesday night as part of his first international tour since the siege on the coastal strip.

Haniyeh told reporters in Khartoum that his visit aimed to highlight the risks to the Palestinian character of Jerusalem at the International Jerusalem Forum in the African capital.

The city, annexed by Israel after a 1967 war, faces a "fierce attack by Israel's occupation and its systematic plans to Judaize the city, which has always and will remain an Arab and Islamic city," Haniyeh said at the press conference.

He was greeted by Sudan's Minister of Information Kamal Ubeid, and presidential adviser Ibrahim Ahmad Omar on Tuesday evening.

Haniyeh left Gaza on Sunday for the first time since Hamas seized power of the coastal enclave in 2007 and Israel tightened a land and sea blockade on the 1.7 million-strong population. more

Top Israeli general says Cast Lead attack was 'excellent' and another war coming 'sooner or later'


JERUSALEM, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz on Tuesday marked the three- year anniversary of the Operation Cast Lead, hailing it "an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas."

Israel embarked on the month-long foray in an effort to put an end to incessant rocket fire by Hamas and other militants at cities and towns within a 50-km arc of the coastal enclave, which has frequently forced close to a million southern residents into bomb shelters.

He warned that a second round of fighting in the Gaza Strip is not a matter of choice for Israel due to a buildup of arms and steadily increasing rocket fire at Israeli cities and towns.

"I believe that the State of Israel cannot continue to live under the active threat of Hamas in the Gaza Strip," Gantz said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

"Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation. The IDF knows how to operate in a determined, decisive and offensive manner against terrorists in the Gaza Strip." Gantz said, adding "I do not advise Hamas to test our mettle." more