Dozens of Palestinians have been killed, most of them in Gaza, since Israel launched its latest offensive, Operation Days of Reckoning, this week. 

About 200 tanks and armoured vehicles have been operating in the area since Tuesday.

To the dismay of many international observers and the Palestinians the US called on Israel to use only "proportional force" in its ongoing military operations in Gaza.

The European Union has criticised Israel for using disproportionate force.

Call for protection

A statement issued by the Palestinian cabinet on Saturday denounced what it called "world silence in the face of the magnitude of crimes committed".

Uraiqat: Lack of proper reaction
will lead to further escalations

The statement called on the international quartet that drafted a Middle East peace plan last year to intervene immediately to protect the Palestinian people. 

"I think the American reaction, along with the international reaction, doesn't rise to the crimes committed against our people," Saib Uraiqat, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, told Aljazeera.net on Saturday.

"I believe the lack of proper American and international reaction will be translated by the Israelis to further escalations," he added.

Uraiqat blamed the US for the escalation saying: "It is cost- free to blame the Palestinians but it is not cost-free to blame the Israelis. This is the imbalance in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship."

US blamed

Hamas' representative in Lebanon, Usama Hamdan, said the massacres committed in Gaza were carried out with American consent. 

"It is obvious that these massacres couldn't have happened without an American political cover or through American pressure on the members of the UN not to condemn the Israeli actions," he told Aljazeera.net

"With the US now committing crimes in Iraq and before that in Afghanistan, this reveals that the American mentality and style is similar to the Israeli one.

"The US can't criticise Israel because it will be criticising itself," he added.

"Many of them see Israeli interests and US national security interests aligned"

John Greshman,
co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus thinktank

John Greshman, co-director of the US-based Foreign Policy in Focus thinktank, attributed US reluctance to be more condemnatory of Israel on the large number of pro-Likud supporters within the Bush administration compared with former administrations

"Many of them see Israeli interests and US national security interests as aligned," Greshman said.