Israel steps up raids in Gaza, killing eight

Qureia says other nations ignore Palestinians' plight

October 05, 2004|By COX NEWS SERVICE

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel's army killed eight Palestinians yesterday, including a 14-year-old girl, as it intensified its invasion of the Gaza Strip that has now left at least 65 people dead.

Despite the largest Israeli military presence in Gaza in the past four years, Palestinian militants managed to launch two more crude missiles yesterdays into the Israeli border town of Sderot, where rockets killed two Jewish toddlers last week. A man was slightly wounded by shrapnel in yesterday's rocket attack.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials and Israeli human rights groups charged that the army has pursued a policy of revenge that has included indiscriminate firing on civilian targets such as schools and residential streets.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia condemned the invasion and he said the international community is ignoring the suffering.

"This ugly Israeli crime is taking place in full view of the world, and so far, we have not heard a strong word from the world community that can bring an end to this aggression," Qureia said.

In Washington, the State Department called for restraint from both sides and recognized Israel's right to defend itself while also urging it to "minimize the humanitarian consequences of their actions."

In a separate incident in the West Bank city of Ramallah, two Palestinian militants and an Israeli commando were killed last night as Israeli forces searched for Hamas members.

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