Palestine

Israel must pay for Gaza crimes: Palestine PM

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah says Tel Aviv must be held responsible for crimes it committed in the Gaza Strip during its latest deadly war on the coastal enclave.

The remarks were made by the Palestinian prime minister on Thursday after his arrival in Gaza, where the unity government is scheduled to meet for the first time since its formation four months ago.

“[The government seeks] to internationalize the Palestinian cause, provide protection to the Palestinians and punish Israel for [its policy] of collective punishment,” Hamdallah said.

The Palestinian premier called for an end to the Israeli occupation and the siege of Gaza.

“We have come…to relieve our people in Gaza and rebuild what has been destroyed by the Israeli war machinery,” he added.

He said the completion of unity between Gaza, the West Bank, and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) was his top priority.

In early July, Israel unleashed aerial attacks on Gaza and later expanded its military campaign with a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory. Over 2,130 Palestinians lost their lives and some 11,000 were injured. Gaza Health officials say the victims included 578 children and nearly 260 women.

Rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, set up a unity government in June after seven years of hostility between the two sides. Israel has voiced anger over the formation of the unity government.

The new unity government has not yet taken political and security control of Gaza.

Since Hamas won Palestinian legislative polls in 2006, Tel Aviv has imposed a strict sea and land blockade on the Gaza Strip.

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