Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, said on Wednesday that the military operation in Beit Hanoun is part of the Israeli campaign against the democratically elected government and the people.

The statements of Haniyya came after the Israeli army killed seven Palestinians in Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and injured at least fifty others.

“This massacre bares the first fruit of the inclusion of Lieberman in the Israeli government”, Haniyya said, “It reflects the brutality of the Israeli occupation”.

Haniyya called on the Palestinians to maintain their unity in order to challenge the ongoing Israeli attacks “against the people and their land”.
He also appealed the International Community, the Arab League and human rights organizations to interfere in order to stop the Israeli aggression and military escalation especially after Israel decided to expand its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, and continued to carry abductions in the West Bank.

Regarding the issue of the abducted soldier, Haniyya said that talks are ongoing in Egypt between Egyptian officials and Israel. “We do not have sufficient information about the talks, but it seems that a progress was achieved”.  

He expressed hopes that the current military offensive in Beit Hanoun will not have negative effects on the Cairo talks that aim at a prisoner swap deal with Israel.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of the Palestinian Cabinet, Ghazi Hamad, said on Wednesday that the Israeli offensive “is a fresh escalation that aims at blackmailing the Hamas-led Palestinian government”.  

The statements of Hamad came after an urgent session for the government to discuss the latest military escalation in Beit Hanoun.

Hamad added that the government agreed to form an Emergency Committee that includes a number of ministers to follow up the developments in the Palestinian territories.

He also demanded the International Community to adopt a serious attitude regarding halting the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.