Palestinian Groups Call for Response to Gaza Raids
Palestinian political and militant groups called on Palestinians Tuesday to "respond" to Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip by continuing their seven-week uprising with marches in the West Bank.
An alliance of Palestinian political factions called the National and Islamic Forces urged Palestinians to march throughout the West Bank on Tuesday to express support for the residents of the Gaza Strip, which Israel pounded late Monday in retaliation for the killing of two Jewish settlers on a school bus.
"The National and Islamic Forces held a meeting after the strike on Gaza and we agreed to respond to the raids by continuing the Intifada (uprising)," Sallah Rafat, a member of a coalition of 13 Palestinian factions including Fateh, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, told AFP.
Israel blames the militia wing of Yasser Arafat's political faction Fateh for masterminding Monday's bombing that killed the two settlers in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority has denied complicity.
Islamic Jihad and Hamas both oppose peace with Israel and have carried out numerous armed attacks.
Palestinian marches in the West Bank, which have often turned into violent clashes in recent weeks, had already been called for Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, according to a statement distributed by the National and Islamic Forces in Ramallah Monday.
"The National and Islamic forces call for marches to condemn the American position which stands by Israel and to confirm the continuation of the Intifada," the statement said.
The statement said the marches on Friday and Sunday should support Muslims and Christian Palestinians -- RAMALLAH (AFP)
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