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Saturday, November 17, 2012
Official PLO news agency: EU foreign policy chief Ashton Blames Hamas for Israeli Raids on Gaza

EU’s Ashton Blames Hamas for Israeli Raids on Gaza
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21082

BRUSSELS, November 17, 2012 (WAFA) – European Union foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton Friday held Hamas responsible for the Israeli air raids on
the Gaza Strip that had so far left 40 Palestinians, including women and
children, dead and more than 400 injured, most of them civilians.

Ashton also justified the Israeli airstrikes that started on Wednesday
saying in a statement that Israel has the right to protect its population.

“The rocket attacks by Hamas and other factions in Gaza which began this
current crisis are totally unacceptable for any government and must stop,”
said Ashton.

“Israel has the right to protect its population from these kinds of
attacks,” she added, but called on Israel “to ensure that its response is
proportionate.”

Ashton said she was “deeply concerned” at the rise in violence between Gaza
and Israel, saying she “deplore(s) the loss of civilian lives on both
sides.”

The EU official said she spoke with leaders in the region including Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, United Nations Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon and with the Egyptian president's office expressing hope that Egypt
would be able to bring calm to the region.

“I stressed the need to prevent a further escalation and more loss of life,”
she said.

“In my discussions I made the point that we must move forward in finding a
solution to the Middle East conflict so that millions of people in the
region can finally live in peace and security,” said Ashton.

M.S.

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