Hamas must end rocket attacks for lasting truce: BushJanuary 11th, 2009 - 3:52 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Jan 11 (Xinhua) US President George W. Bush has said Palestinian militants must first stop its rocket attacks on Israel before talks for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”President Bush emphasised the importance of bringing an end to rocket-fire against Israel and preventing arms smuggling into Gaza as the basis for a durable ceasefire,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement Saturday.
Bush Saturday welcomed “Turkey’s support for the Egyptian-French mediation efforts” aimed at stopping the violence between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the spokesman said.
On Dec 27, Israel launched a massive military operation against the Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in response to incessant rocket attacks by the Islamic group on its territory.
The two-week-long strikes have killed over 800 Palestinians in the salient, according to emergency officials in Gaza.
Both Israel and Hamas have ignored a UN Security Council resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire.
The Israeli government says the military strikes would be stepped up until Hamas’ rocket-firing capabilities are broken.
The US has voiced its support for the Egyptian-French initiative that calls for an immediate ceasefire to allow more aid into the Gaza Strip.
Tags: bush washington, french initiative, gaza strip, hamas militants, massive military operation, mediation efforts, military strikes, palestinian militants, security council resolution, white house spokesman