The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) strongly denounced the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, saying that such aggressive operations clearly contradict Israel’s claims that it “withdrew” from the Strip.Reply
Israeli forces, backed by armored vehicles and helicopter gunships, entered southern Gaza early Wednesday, in what the army said was an operation aimed at freeing a soldier captured by Palestinian resistance fighters last Sunday.
Palestinian families living in the path of the Israeli incursion were forced to flee their homes and sought refuge in the nearby town of Rafah, near the Gaza-Israel-Egypt border.
Witnesses said Israeli air strikes destroyed three bridges and a major power plant in Gaza. Israeli warplanes also bombed a Hamas’ training camp in southern Gaza and knocked out electricity and water supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip.
"The blowing up of bridges and Gaza's main electricity transformer by the Israeli army can only be described as illegal acts of collective punishment against the Palestinian people," MCB said in a statement.
MCB Secretary General Muhammad Abdul Bari also said that Israel had “repeatedly shown that it has absolutely no regard for international law”.
"This disproportionate use of military force in one of the most densely populated areas in the world is a recipe for another disaster in the making," Bari warned.
MCB also urged the British and U.S. governments to act immediately in order to contain the situation and reach an agreement over the current crisis involving Palestinian and Israeli prisoners.
Palestinian resistance fighters had demanded Israel to release of all women and children held in Israeli jails in exchange for the Israeli soldier.
"We urge that such efforts must include the release of the 400 women and children among the 9,800 Palestinians that have been detained by the Israeli Occupation Forces," MCB said.
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