Daily Israel Report

Abbas Demands that Israel Stop Gaza Airstrikes

PA Chairman calls on Israel to stop its "escalation", fails to condemn rocket fire on Gaza.
By Dalit Halevi and Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/8/2014, 4:13 AM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday demanded that Israel stop the airstrikes on Gaza.

In an official statement published by the PA’s WAFA news agency and in which Abbas was described as “the President of the State of Palestine”, the PA head called on the international community to immediately intervene to stop what he called “the dangerous Israeli escalation”.

Israel’s actions, he warned, could "drag the region into further destruction and instability."

Abbas stressed the importance of maintaining a truce in order to protect the lives and property of the Palestinian people. He added that the PA leadership is holding urgent talks with several Arab and international officials in order to restrain Israel.

The statement did not mention the rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel, nor did it condemn the violence by Palestinian Arabs towards Jews.

Meanwhile, the rocket attacks continued on Monday. As of 10:30 p.m., the number of rockets that were fired towards Israel stood at over 80, including over 30 rockets that were fired in a ten-minute period between 8:00 p.m. and 8:10 p.m.

The barrage followed the Security Cabinet decision to prepare for escalation in the South, including a possible military campaign.

Israel has been launching airstrikes on Gaza in retaliation for the endless rocket fire. On Monday afternoon, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted an airstrike against three terror targets in northern Gaza.

Monday’s statement from Abbas came a day after he spoke to the chairman of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, and asked him to calm the situation in Gaza.

Abbas asked Meshaal to avoid escalation of the situation, which would give Israel an excuse to launch an operation in Gaza.