Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemned on Tuesday the Israeli F-16 airstrike that targeted on Monday midnight a civilian building in Gaza City, killing at least 15 people and wounding 150 others.
"It is a condemned massacre and an awful crime carried out against our innocent children," Arafat, who has been confined to his Ramallah headquarters since December, told reporters in reaction to the Israeli airstrike.
An Israeli airforce F-16 warplane hit shortly before Monday midnight a building which consists of three floors, killing at least 15 people, including Sheikh Salah Shehada, the commander of Islamic Hamas movement's armed wing Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigade.
Shehada was one of the Palestinians most wanted by Israel and accused of being behind "hundreds" of anti-Israel attacks.
"This massacre is unbelievable. No human being with a piece of mind, consciousness or emotions could imagine what had happened," Arafat said sadly and angrily.
He blasted the world community "for the silence on the Israeli crimes against our people", adding "I wonder why the world is silent. Why it does not move to stop the Israeli awful crimes against our people."
Arafat revealed that the latest Israeli-Palestinian meetings andtalks held on Saturday "had brought positive hope" towards ending the occupation and "aggression on our people."
Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli-Arab Knesset (parliament) member, said ina statement sent to Xinhua that US President George Bush is "morally responsible" for the airstrike carried out by US-made F-16 warplane targeting a civilian building.
He said he does not believe that Bush would condemn the airstrike on Palestinian civilians, adding that there must be an Arab and world serious movement to condemn and stop attacks on the Palestinians.
"When (Ariel) Sharon saw that Israelis and Palestinian have determined to achieve progress in their recent talks, Sharon felt so worried and angry, and therefore he carried out this awful crime," said Tibi.