Hamas must end rocket attacks for lasting truce: Bush

January 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.

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