Gaza Violence Endangers Peace Talks

Bombs, rockets fly; UN decries closing of border crossings
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2008 9:53 AM CST
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Haniya Abd Al-Jawwad, next to the debris of the destroyed Hamas-run interior ministry offices, during her funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008. Al-Jawwad,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Israeli bombs yesterday flattened a Hamas-run ministry on the Gaza Strip, and Israel also shut down Gaza border crossings.Cranking up pressure on Hamas to exert more control over militants who have stepped up rocket attacks, Israel killed at least 34 Palestinians this week, Reuters reports. The Palestinians cautioned that renewed violence imperils the peace talks between Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert.

One woman was killed and at least 30 wounded in the attack on the ministry. The UN condemned the border closing, which prevented the delivery of an aid package, and warned Israel against unjustified "collective punishment" of Gaza's 1.5 million residents. "The Israeli reaction is not justified by those rocket attacks, even though it's caused by those rocket attacks," said one official.