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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Press furore over Gaza offensive
Arab-Israeli press

Israeli papers disagree on the methods the government should use to free an Israeli soldier currently being held by Palestinian militants.

The Palestinian press harbours little hope of the international community putting pressure on Israel to halt its Gaza offensive.

Elsewhere in the Arab world, papers mix fierce criticism of Israel's actions with indignation at the West's reaction to the soldier's abduction. Some commentators accuse Israel of involvement in "ethnic cleansing", "genocide" and "racist extermination".

ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

For the advocates of battle and of 'landing the blow', it is best to remember that fighting in the Gaza alleyways, from house to house, basement to basement, while shooting into balconies, would translate into a far more terrifying operation than Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin in 2002, and lead to significantly more casualties... It would therefore be appropriate to give the option of negotiation another look.

YOEL GVIRTZ IN ISRAEL'S MA'ARIV

Does anyone really think that the entry of land forces on this scale will come to an end only after they return Gilad Shalit to us? For this is an absurdity, which clearly cannot exist, because this boy will return to his parents only after they conduct negotiations of some sort with the abductors.

ALEX FISHMAN IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

The moment Israel surrenders to the first kidnapper of an Israeli citizen, it will find itself in a series of abductions. This sounds terrible, inhumane, not Jewish, but this is a fact: if the state of Israel does not insist on the principle of no negotiations with kidnappers, it invites a catastrophe for itself because kidnapping is the most rewarding form of terrorism.

ROB BEN-YISHAI IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

Past surrenders to the demands of kidnappers brought about a situation in which Israel's residents and soldiers became kidnapping targets. Therefore, there is a need to put an end to this phenomenon even if the price is heavy.

PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

Israel's assault only hours after the announcement that the [Palestinian] national dialogue had ended with an agreement on the national accord document [on Israel's recognition]... attempted to reshuffle the deck of cards once again and prevent the agreement from developing on the ground. This reveals the real identity of [Israel's] leaders, who are not interested in peace.

HASAN AL-KASHEF IN PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

This world could have released the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if Washington and Europe were to promise to make a genuine effort to release the [Palestinian] women and minors imprisoned in Israel. This is a fair, just and humane demand.

ABD-AL-LAH AWAD IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

The Palestinians have no other choice but to defend themselves... Help will not come from the outside world... You alone will stand against the Hebrew war machine.

ZIYAD ABD-AL-FATTAH IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

Palestinians: do not look around you, for no-one will help you apart from you... What the Israelis are waging against us is not only a war crime but also a crazed racist extermination war signed off by hands thirsty for blood and killing.

JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

If the Israeli military aggression looks fierce and savage against the Palestinian people, the political aggression led by the international community, foremost the USA, seems more frustrating. There were very loud reactions because of the abduction of an Israeli soldier in a daring military operation, while international silence continues regarding the detention of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons and the continued daily killing and assassination of civilians by the Israeli occupation.

EGYPT'S AL-JUMHURIYAH

The USA should realize that it bears responsibility for the war crimes committed by the Israeli military machine under the claim of searching for an Israeli soldier who was captured in a battle, while Washington resorts to silence regarding the abduction of an entire people and the threats against them of destruction and annihilation.

UAE'S AL-KHALIJ

Those wailing people in the West hurry to support a fully armoured soldier who has been captured, but they hide in their holes when warplanes and missile bombard the houses of the innocent, destroy their bridges and roads.

OMAN'S OMAN DAILY

The destruction of a city over its people, frightening children, women and old people, and the demolition of the infrastructure of the Palestinian people by bombarding bridges, are not important if the reason is the liberation of a captured soldier. This is the policy of power and arrogance that Israel has been following for more than 50 years and it is strange that some people still believe that Israel can be a peace partner.

SAUDI AL-WATAN

It is obvious that the Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip has been accurately prepared and pre-planned. Its aim is not to release an Israeli captive... because the release of the captured soldier can be done through peaceful and diplomatic means and not through threats... The desire of Olmert's government to show off its power and to record political glories through Palestinian blood is an old Israeli habit.

AZMI BISHARAH IN PAN-ARAB AL-HAYAT

Israel has begun bombing power stations, the main water supply networks and roads linking the various parts of Gaza... The Israeli occupation and Israeli policies are the infrastructure of terrorism.

ABDALLAH AL-ASH'AL IN PAN-ARAB AL-HAYAT

It is no longer a secret that the Palestinian problem has nothing to do with a settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. In actual fact, it is linked to an Israel project that is principally aimed at 'cleansing' Palestine of Palestinians, or ethnic cleansing as it is also known... Those who doubt that the principal aim of Israel is genocide should reflect on the meaning of Israel's use of American missiles and planes to kill Palestinians.

ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Western governments may have conspired and connived with the Jewish state and its chosen people, but the rest of the world cannot be sympathetic to a state that is bombing water and power stations and is preventing food from reaching a besieged people, all in the name of freeing one of its soldiers.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.





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