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Abbas Blames Israel for Gaza Escalation

PA Chairman says the Israeli military caused an "escalation" in Gaza, ignores rocket attacks on south.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/13/2014, 3:42 AM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday blamed Israel for the latest escalation in Gaza.

In a statement issued by his spokesman and quoted by Reuters, Abbas urged to put an end to what he called "Israeli military escalation in the Gaza Strip."

The statement did not condemn the Islamic Jihad and the other Gaza-based terrorists that have been firing rockets at southern Israel for years. The Islamic Jihad earlier on Wednesday fired a barrage of 60 rockets at southern Israel.

In retaliation, the Israeli Air Force struck 29 terror targets belonging to Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza.

The IDF noted that while Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, Hamas's control on the region renders them responsible for preventing escalation and terror activity.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night instructed the defense establishment to do whatever necessary to restore the quiet to Israel’s south.

The Islamic Jihad, meanwhile, issued its own warning to Israel, saying that if the IDF continues to strike in Gaza, the Islamic Jihad will fire long-range rockets at Israel.