Israel continues its air assault on Gaza.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel destroyed the office of the Palestinian interior minister in a series of airstrikes Friday, increasing the pressure on the Hamas government to release a kidnapped soldier a day after it delayed a broad ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.
Also Friday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that Israel’s offensive in Gaza was part of a premeditated plan to bring down the Hamas-led government.
Israel’s air force has struck more than 30 targets in Gaza — including the Palestinian Interior Ministry — in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants on Sunday.
Haniyeh said the military offensive was not only about rescuing the soldier, but also crippling Hamas, which has refused to renounce violence since being swept to power in January parliamentary elections.
Hamas needs to be permanently crippled.
And get this chutzpah: Iran requested that the UN Security Council meet to condemn Israel’s response to Hamas’ terrorism.
The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to convene on Friday night (Israel time) to discuss the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the ongoing IDF incursion into the Gaza Strip and the massive arrests of 64 senior Hamas officials on Thursday.
Iran and Algeria requested the meeting, for the purpose of issuing a condemnation against Israel.
Senior Foreign Ministry officials were working with the United Nations delegation in order to prevent such a condemnation.
On Thursday night, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, to discuss recent events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
She related Israel’s position on the continuing incursion into Gaza and the widespread arrests of 64 Hamas officials on Thursday morning. Livni emphasized Israel’s right to self defense.
Earlier in the day, the G-8 foreign ministers’ summit of developed countries that convened in St. Petersburg, expressed grave concern at the deterioration of the conflict. The diplomats meeting in Russia condemned the arrests and called upon Israel to show restraint.
Where’s the condemnation of Hamas for its kidnapping and murdering of innocent Eliyahu Asheri?