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Gaza conflict: Reaction in quotes

Israel's military offensive against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip has drawn reaction from around the world. Here are some key quotes.

ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES
We don't intend neither to occupy Gaza nor to crush Hamas, but to crush terror. And Hamas needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it. We shall not accept the idea that Hamas will continue to fire and we shall declare a cease-fire. It does not make any sense.

ISRAELI DEFENCE MINISTER EHUD BARAK

We have carefully weighed all our options. We are not war hungry, but we should not allow a situation where our towns, villages and civilians are constantly targeted.

It will not be easy or short, but we are determined.

We are peace-seekers. We have restrained ourselves for a long time, but now is the time to do what needs to be done.

HAMAS OFFICIAL ISMAIL RADWAN

Gaza will not be a picnic. Gaza will be a graveyard for you.

HAMAS MILITARY WING IZZEDINE AL-QASSAM

Be prepared for a unique surprise, you will be either killed or kidnapped and will suffer mental illness from the horrors we will show you.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

What we have to to do almost immediately is work harder than we have done for an immediate ceasefire.

I can see the Gaza issues for the Palestinians - that they need humanitarian aid -- but the Israelis must have some assurance that there are no rocket attacks coming into Israel.

EU EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMISSIONER BENITA FERRERO-WALDNER

It is absolutely necessary that violence has to stop.

US DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO UN ALEJANDRO WOLFF

The efforts we are making internationally are designed to establish a sustainable, durable ceasefire that's respected by all.

And that means no more rocket attacks. It means no more smuggling of arms.

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT

It is essential, without delay, to put an end to the suffering of the civilian population on both sides, to stop the bloodshed and secure a mutual ceasefire.

POPE BENEDICT XVI
War and hatred are not solutions to problems.

Today, in all the churches of the Holy Land, [church leaders are] calling on worshippers to pray for the end to the conflict in the Gaza Strip and [for] justice and peace for their land.

ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL AMR MOUSSA

The aggression must stop, the siege must also stop, and peace has to be addressed in a determined and clear way and not just to resume the same old tactics of talking for the sake of talking.

The time is very crucial: end of aggression, one Arab position, reconciliation among Palestinians and the end of siege.

And therefore entering into a peace effort once and for all.

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY

France condemns the Israeli ground offensive against Gaza as it condemns the continuation of rocket firing.

This dangerous military escalation complicates efforts by the international community and in particular the European Union and France, the members of the Quartet and the states in the region to end the fighting, bring immediate aid to civilians and reach a permanent ceasefire.

CZECH EU PRESIDENCY SPOKESMAN JIRI POTUZNIK

At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action.

LEBANESE HEZBOLLAH LEADER HASSAN NASRALLAH
Our brothers in the resistance in Palestine know that it is by inflicting the biggest possible losses on the Israeli enemy during the ground confrontation that they will win the battle.

It is when the resistance kills soldiers and destroys tanks that the course of the battle will be determined.

SPOKESMAN FOR US PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

The president-elect is closely monitoring global events, including the situation in Gaza.

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