Israel Kills 16, Maims 40 in Gaza

By Prensa Latina

Gaza : At least 16 Palestinians died and more than 40 were wounded on Tuesday in a military incursion by the Israeli army in Gaza Strip, which Palestinian leaders called a massacre, according to updated reports.

Support TwoCircles

The attack started at dawn, when several excavators destroyed agricultural areas outside Gaza, while the infantry, supported by armored vehicles and helicopters, burst into the Zaitun neighborhood and shot people at close range.

Witnesses said the Tsahal moved forward during the early morning with several tanks and bulldozers, destroying several buildings and crops in Gaza’s eastern area.

Israeli military spokespeople confirmed the operation and stated that it was a routine incursion and not a large scale offensive.

Palestinian ex Prime Minister Ismail Haniye and the Palestinian National Authority president called the operation a massacre.

Haniye accused US President George W. Bush of encouraging the aggressive Israeli policy, because its positions to support Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stimulate those actions.

This is the result of the US president’s visit to this area the past week, with the supposed objective of boosting negotiations for peace, said the overthrown prime minister.

Abbas said it was a slaughter that Palestinians will not be able to ignore.

That incursion has been one of the most brutal killings by Tel Aviv since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June, and happened amid a supposedly renewed peace process, which according to agreements adopted in Annapolis, should conclude the current year.