- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Israel warns Hamas after rocket fire
Question of the Day
“I see the Hamas as directly responsible for any attack that comes from the Gaza Strip toward the state of Israel, and the international community should see it this way as well,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “Israel reserves the right to defend its citizens, and we will continue to use all means to protect the people of Israel and the children of Israel.”
The attacks, including a rocket fired Friday at an Israeli city six miles from Gaza, caused damage but no injuries. No Palestinian group took responsibility for the attacks.
Years of rocket fire from Gaza largely has subsided since Israel launched a fierce offensive in the Palestinian territory in December 2008.
The three-week war dramatically reduced the number of rockets hitting Israel but devastated the densely populated and impoverished Palestinian territory and drew international criticism.
Most of the rocket fire since has been carried out by smaller militant groups that do not necessarily accept Hamas authority. Hamas for the most part has refrained from launching attacks, apparently because of concerns about Israeli retaliation.
“Netanyahu and his government bear all the consequences of this escalation,” he said.
The violence came shortly after the Arab League authorized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to enter into direct peace talks with Israel, a notion that Gaza militants abhor. The league endorsed the idea after President Obama warned Mr. Abbas in a letter that U.S.-Palestinian relations might suffer if the Palestinian leader refused to resume direct negotiations.
“I think the international community — at least an important part of it, and of course the United States — expects the Palestinian Authority to put aside all the excuses and arguments and all the conditions and get into direct peace talks,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “I call on Abu Mazen to take a brave decision to start peace talks with Israel.”
Mr. Abbas insists he will negotiate only if Israel commits to freezing all settlement construction. Palestinians are wary of resuming talks with Mr. Netanyahu without agreeing first on an agenda, a timetable and a framework.
Mr. Netanyahu has refused to be pinned down and make concessions ahead of talks. He has put in place a partial 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank that is due to expire in late September.
Israeli President Shimon Peres added his voice Sunday to the growing chorus of calls for direct talks.
“We must begin the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible. The timing is critical, and there is a window of opportunity that cannot be missed,” he said after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.
Mubarak spokesman Suleiman Awwad said direct peace talks must be “serious, continuous with a fixed time limit,” calling for an active and impartial U.S. role. He also said Israel should take further measures to ease conditions in the West Bank and lift its blockade of Gaza.
Israel has removed dozens of roadblocks in the West Bank, but hundreds remain. Last month Israel eased its blockade of Gaza by allowing in consumer goods, while maintaining restrictions on building materials, enforcing a sea blockade to keep weapons out of Gaza and banning most exports.
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!