White House Pressures Hamas

As news of Israel's massive airstrikes on Gaza began to spread across the Arab world, there was strong condemnation of those attacks and violent protests in many parts of the region Saturday.

The Arab League will meet in an emergency session in Cairo on Sunday. Officials said that they were shocked by what they called an "unimaginable and unacceptable act". Hamas, a Palestinian fundamentalist group that runs Gaza, has vowed revenge.

Washington said Hamas is a terrorist organization. This Hamas official said angrily that Israel cannot exterminate an entire nation. "If it could," he said, "it would have done so over the past six decades. "

Hamas said that the Israeli air strikes hit all of its security installations and that the attacks killed civilians as well as soldiers. It responded today by firing several medium range rockets at targets inside Israel. At least one Israeli was killed. Israeli leaders had warned that any cross- border shelling by Hamas would be met with a strong response.

"Israel had to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough, to months of rocket attacks into Israel. Hamas poses a threat to israeli people," said Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev.

This Israeli air attack comes one week after the end of a six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. And a day after Hamas launched rocket and mortars on Southern Israel.

The Palestinians said they will bring the latest airstrike to the attention of the United Nations.


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