Tuesday, December 27, 2005

U.S. Defends Israeli Firing on Gaza

From the AP:

Defending Israel, the Bush administration on Tuesday said a rocket attack in Gaza was a response to rocket attacks on Israel.

The Israeli barrage hit two offices of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and a bridge the army said was used by militants to reach areas where they fire rockets.

Hours later, about 40 gunmen took over an election office in the neighborhood of A-Ram just outside of Jerusalem, demanding that the ruling Fatah Party include more representatives of the neighborhood in its list for parliamentary elections on Jan. 25, said Ziyad Al-Bakri, the coordinator of the office.

At the State Department, spokesman Adam Ereli said Israel had responded to attacks on its own territory.

"What we would like to see is effective measures against such acts so that the measures Israel is taking are not necessary," Ereli said.

In that vein, the spokesman said that Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, the new U.S. security specialist for the region, had arrived in the area for talks with Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials.
Ereli said of Israel's barrage: "We see it in the context of failure to address the security situation."