Middle East

Israel must be punished for Gaza attacks: Qatar PM

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani attends a meeting of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, formed after the Syrian National Council (SNC), in Doha, Qatar on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

DOHA: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani warned that Israel's deadly raids on the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip must not go unpunished, state news agency QNA reported on Thursday.

"This vicious attack must not pass unpunished," QNA quoted the premier as saying at a Wednesday meeting in Saudi Arabia of the six Gulf Arab nations and Russia.

"The UN Security Council must take up its responsibility to secure peace and security in the world," he said, adding the latest escalation of violence in Gaza is likely to "promote extremism."

"We reject extremism and terrorism but such irresponsible and unjustified attacks must be condemned by the world," he said.

Israel launched an operation on Wednesday by killing a top Hamas military commander in an air strike, followed by numerous other raids, as angry Palestinians responded with rocket fire.

Warplanes pounded Gaza for a second day on Thursday as three Israelis were killed when a Palestinian rocket struck a house. Thirteen Palestinians have also died since Wednesday.

In October, Qatar's emir was the first head of state to visit Gaza since the Islamist group Hamas seized it from forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.





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