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Iran's Supreme Leader strongly condemns Gaza massacre as more than 270 die in Israeli Airstrikes

Tehran, Dec 28, IRNA - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a historical message on Sunday strongly condemned the inhuman atrocities of the Zionist regime in Gaza Strip.

In his message, the Supreme Leader said the silence and indifference of international organizations and certain Arab states have prepared the grounds for such crimes by the Zionist regime with the support of the Bush administration.

The Supreme Leader also declared Monday, December 29, as a day of mourning and urged all Palestinians, freedom seekers, Muslim nations, Ulema, intellectuals and media throughout the world to fulfill their heavy duty in confronting the crimes of the 'Zionist vampires'.

"The horrible crimes and atrocities of the Zionist regime in Gaza and massacre of hundreds of innocent men, women and children have once again revealed the bloodthirsty nature of the Zionists," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Supreme Leader said that this is very tragic and painful for all Muslims and every human throughout the world but a greater tragedy is the silence of certain governments and their attitude which have encouraged the leaders of the Zionist regime to continue their crimes and name those governments as their accomplices.

It is very painful that certain Muslims states instead of backing the defenseless people in Gaza in their struggle with the infidel and usurper Zionists, have taken an approach which has encouraged the Zionists to create such human catastrophe, said Ayatollah Khamenei in his message.

"What will be the response of these heads of states to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)? What will be their answer to their own bereaved nations?" questioned the Supreme Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that there is no doubt that the hearts of people in Egypt, Jordan and other Islamic countries pain as a result of such a carnage after prolonged blockade and prevention of food and medicine supplies from reaching the region.

The criminal Bush administration by abetting the crimes on its final days in office has added a black chapter to its record of criminal activities, said Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Supreme Leader also lambasted the European governments for their indifference towards and complicity in this catastrophe have once again proved the falsehood of their claims to support human rights and their enmity with Islam.

"It is time to question Ulema and clerics in Arab countries as well as the Grand Mufti of al-Azhar whether it is not a very critical time to feel the danger posed to Islam and Muslims," asked the Supreme Leader.

"To what extent will the intellectuals and media in Arab countries remain indifferent towards carrying out their duties?" the Supreme Leader asked.

"Is it possible for the so called advocates of human rights and the UN Security Council to be as much disgraced as they are now?" Ayatollah Khamenei questioned.

All true believers in the world of Islam and Palestinian fighters are duty-bound to defend the defenseless women and children in Gaza Strip and those giving their lives in carrying out such a divine duty are 'martyrs', said the Supreme Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei also called on the OIC to fulfill its historical responsibility at this sensitive juncture and take a unified stand against the Zionist regime.

The Zionist regime should be punished and brought to justice by the Islamic states, underlined Ayatollah Khamenei.

Steadfastness of Islamic nations can materialize this goal and the role of Muslim politicians, Ulema and intellectuals is much greater than ever before, said the Supreme Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei said, "I declare Monday, December 29 as a day of mourning to highlight the catastrophe in Gaza and urge officials to carry out heir grave duties in dealing with such a tragic incident."


Israeli Airstrikes Kill More Than 270 in Gaza


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is saying the Palestinians could have avoided the ongoing attacks by Israel if the militant group Hamas had continued its six-month truce with the Jewish state.

Mr. Abbas Sunday in Cairo called on his rivals to renew their truce with Israel in order to prevent further bloodshed in Gaza.  Egypt's foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit also called on Hamas to extend the truce.

Palestinian officials say Israel's massive, two-day military assault on Gaza has killed at least 271 people.  Israel says the attack is in response to last week's series of rocket and mortar attacks that wounded Israeli civilians.

Airstrikes today included the destruction of a mosque in Gaza city.  Two people were killed.  Israeli officials say the mosque was being used as a base for terrorist activities.

Israeli warplanes and helicopters destroyed more than 40 Hamas security installations across Gaza Saturday, including compounds hosting graduation ceremonies for new recruits.  

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned the operation against Hamas will expand as necessary.  Officials say Israel's Cabinet today approved a callup of reserve soldiers for its Gaza offensive.

Hamas has vowed to avenge the attacks with more rocket strikes and suicide bombings.  Palestinian militants fired more than 50 rockets into southern Israel Saturday, killing one person.

The head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said the group would not back down.  

In Damascus, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal urged Palestinians to wage a new intifada or uprising against Israel.

Palestinian medical officials and Hamas said the majority of those killed were Hamas members, including Gaza's police chief and another security official.  They said at least 15 Palestinian civilians were among the dead.  Another 700 people were wounded Saturday in one of the bloodiest days for the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said civilian casualties would be avoided in Gaza, and that Hamas is Israel's target.  He also pledged to avert a humanitarian crisis.

Tensions between Israel and Hamas have escalated since a six-month cease-fire expired earlier this month.  The Israeli raid follows days of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel by militants in Gaza.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


Israeli attacks result of Egyptian conspiracy with Abbas, says Hamas advisor

London, Dec 28, IRNAA Hamas advisor says current Israeli attacks on Gaza are the result of 'conspiracy among Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority chief in Ramallah'.

Azam Tamimi told IRNA they have reached an agreement to destroy Hamas in Gaza.

"Arab leaders have scheduled to meet on Wednesday. However, their meeting is useless as Israel will have another four days to attack Gaza," he said, adding that it will only save time for the Zionist regime to step up strikes against Gaza.

The Israeli attacks on the densely-populated Gaza Strip in the past two days have killed 280 Palestinians and left hundreds of others injured and thousands homeless. Most of the city is now in electricity shortage while hospitals are full of patients.

Tamimi said Arab leaders are incapable of taking any action against these attacks because 'it is too late'.

"Israel is destroying homes and infrastructure day and night.

Therefore the Arab meeting on Wednesday is useless," he said.

He suggested that Israel will have the opportunity to continue attacks if Arabs do not convene immediately.

Tamimi said Hamas is facing 'very little' options in the days to come if Israel continues aggressions.

"The Islamic movement have the option of continuing resistance while remaining steadfast," he said, adding that Hamas-propelled rockets are not so powerful to inflict a huge damage to Israel.

Tamimi said the Zionist regime has been planning in the past six months to attack Gaza which was struggling with economic woos and losing all its defensive capabilities.

He said that Hamas will face difficult times should Arabs and Muslims not take immediate action against the Zionist regime.

Iran seeking OIC emergency meet on Gaza

Tehran, Dec 28, IRNA - First Vice-Speaker of Majlis Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard said on Sunday that Iran is seeking to hold an emergency meeting of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on tragic situation in Gaza Strip.

Speaking at a gathering of members of parliament at Palestine Square, downtown Tehran, in protest at massive air strike on Gaza, Aboutorabi-Fard said that the Islamic Republic of Iran makes its all-out efforts to back Palestinians.

Aboutorabi-Fard noted that supporting Palestinians is Iran's major objective.

He added that Iran will support emergency sessions of UN Security Council and the Inter-Parliamentary Union on Gaza.

"Massive air raids on Gaza by Israel show that Zionists are helpless in facing the Palestinian people's strong resistance," he said.

APA to hold emergency meeting on Gaza crisis: Larijani

Tehran, Dec 28, IRNA - Majlis speaker, Ali Larijani, said on Sunday that the Asian Parliaments Assembly (APA) will hold an emergency meeting to discuss Israeli crimes in Gaza.

Addressing a rally of members of parliament at Palestine Square, downtown Tehran, Larijani said that the APA troika (Iran, Indonesia and Syria) has held consultations on ways to stop Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

The rally was held to protest the savage attacks of the Zionist regime on Gaza Strip on Saturday when Israeli F-16 bombers fired around 30 missiles into the densely populated areas of Gaza killing 225 people and wounding 400 others.

The horrific brutality of Israel against civilians have triggered international outrage and shocked world public opinion.

The brutal invasion was indicative of the confusion of the Zionist entity, Larijani said.

Referring to the Zionist regime's snap elections due to be held on February 10, 2009, the speaker said, "The Zionist regime manages to such adventurism on the verge of any elections."

He criticized silence of the some Arab and Islamic countries vis-a-vis Israeli atrocities noting that they have "made a strategic mistake regarding the Gaza crisis."

"The Saturday's incidents were very important and drew attention of the whole world," Larijani said.

Iran has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring the Israeli leaders to justice for crimes against humanity they perpetrated in Gaza.

... Payvand News - 12/28/08 ... --

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