Leaders respond to Gaza assault

The Middle East violence has triggered international condemnation and calls for restraint.

    Miliband has urged restraint [EPA]
    All sides in the conflict, and the international community, need to judge their actions by the need to keep the political process alive.
    I support the UN secretary-general's call for all parties to step back from the brink of even deeper and more deadly clashes."
    Gordon Johndroe, National Security Council spokesman, speaking to reporters at President George Bush's ranch in Texas.
    "The violence needs to stop and the talks need to resume."
    Saudi government official speaking to the official SPA news agency.
    "Saudi Arabia, which condemns the Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people and the threats of Israeli officials to turn Gaza into an inferno, sees that Israel, through its actions, is copying the war crimes of the Nazis."
    Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president
    "The negotiations are suspended, as are all contacts on all levels, because in light of the Israeli aggression such communication has no meaning."
    Karen Abu Zayd, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
    "I am horrified by the violence engulfing Gaza, where the death toll of innocent civilians, including children, rises each hour."
    Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator
    "The negotiations are buried under the houses that were destroyed in Gaza. The peace process has been destroyed because of the aggressions and the crimes that have been committed."
    Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International
    "We condemn all attacks on civilians, but unlawful attacks by one side cannot justify violations by the other. Israel's attacks this week display a degree of disproportion and recklessness which has so often characterised Israeli military attacks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in recent years."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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