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Erekat slams Israeli incursion into Gaza
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20:17, April 16, 2008

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Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday condemned an Israeli incursion in the Gaza Strip which left five Palestinian militants and two Israeli soldiers killed.

"This Israeli escalation will bring nothing but more deterioration and violence," Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio. "It is time to reach a real calmness leading to halting the Israeli aggression and lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip."

Backed by helicopters and tanks, the incursion on Tuesday night targeted east Gaza City with special forces, entering the Sheja'eya neighborhood and exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen.

Israeli sources reported that two Israeli soldiers were killed and six others injured when a group of Hamas fighters ambushed them.

Israel tightened a blockade on the Gaza Strip and stepped up ground operations near the border areas of the densely-populated coastal territory after Hamas seized the rein of Gaza in June.

The frequent escalation endangers the Egypt-led efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants.


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