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Presidency: Palestinians have right to defend themselves

July 8, 2014 3:43 P.M. (Updated: July 9, 2014 8:09 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Presidential spokesman on Tuesday condemned Israel's escalation of airstrikes on Gaza, saying Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.

Israel's new operation is a "declaration of war on Palestinians and the Israeli authority alone will bear the consequences," Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement.

"Palestinians have the right to defend themselves by all legitimate means," Abu Rudeineh said, calling the new assault on Gaza an "open massacre" against children, women, and the elderly.

He said silence from the international community regarding the attacks was unacceptable.

"Israel's decision destroys all chances of ceasefire or peace," Abu Rudeineh said.

Palestinian officials will make "fateful decisions" to defend their people, he added.

The presidential statement came as Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip left four dead and dozens injured.

Israel has dubbed the offensive "Operation Protective Edge," with the military saying it comes in response to heavy rocket fire from Gaza.
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