The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has condemned an Israeli assault on Gaza and the West Bank ahead of the US president’s visit to the region. Israelis and Palestinians have suffered casualties during the raid which continued until nightfall on Sunday.
Israel has stepped up its campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza’s after a Palestinian rocket attack last week struck deeper than ever before into Israel. However, Abbas said there was no justification for the attacks on Gaza and the West Bank and accused Israel of wanting to harrass Palestinian people.
Israel has carried out a series of airstrikes and ground assaults since last Thursday’s rocket attack, further complicating George Bush’s chances of renewing peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis when he arrives on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, with winter deepening, Gazans will be forced to live without lights and electric heaters for eight hours a day after Israel cut fuel supplies by half to the territory’s only electric plant.