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Abbas calls Arab League over Israeli offensive on Gaza

Nov. 14, 2012 7:34 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 15, 2012 2:35 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Arab League chief to convene an emergency session to halt Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

The Palestinian Authority leader asked Nabil al-Arabi to bring the permanent representatives together immediately, warning Israel's airstrikes across Gaza have "dangerous consequences," PA news agency Wafa reported.

Israel assassinated the military commander of Hamas's armed wing in a missile strike on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and launched air raids across the enclave.

PLO official Saeb Erekat told Ma'an on Wednesday evening that Abbas was exerting "huge efforts" and contacting international organizations and leaders to try and end the offensive.

"We are worried Israeli strikes might take new dimensions," he added.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Israel had issued draft orders for its reserve soldiers.

Israeli military spokesman Yoav Mordechai said preparations for a ground invasion were underway.

"There are preparations, and if we are required to, the option of a entry by ground is available," Mordechai told Israel's Channel 2 TV.

Militant factions in Gaza said the assassination of al-Jaabari was a "declaration of war" and vowed to retaliate.

Fatah condemns

In Gaza City, Fatah denounced the "barbaric Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip" and urged the international community to take action.

The Fatah movement in Gaza said in a statement that "all the Palestinians are requested to stick to their responsibilities and confront the ongoing aggression.

"We need to embody national unity and work together because that will strengthen the citizens' resolution as they face the ugly Israeli aggression," it said.

The statement urged all the Palestinian factions to build a joint national front, or a crisis group to deal with the dangers the coastal enclave is facing.

"The Palestinian bloodshed makes it inevitable for all of us to be united as we confront the aggression, end disagreement and achieve reconciliation."

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