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'Hamas has held people of Gaza hostage'

world Updated: Jan 04, 2009 08:43 IST

PTI
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As Israeli forces entered the Palestinian territory, the US has charged the Hamas with holding the people of Gaza "hostage" and alleged they are the one who are mainly responsible for the worsening humanitarian condition there.

"Hamas has held the people of Gaza hostage ever since their illegal coup against the forces of President Mahmoud Abbas, the legitimate President of the Palestinian people," State Department spokesperson, Sean McCormack said.

The State Department spokesperson pointed out that the US is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation and the protection of innocents in Gaza.

"They (Hamas) have used Gaza as a launching pad for rockets against Israeli cities and have contributed deeply to a very bad daily life for the Palestinian people in Gaza and to a humanitarian situation that we have all been trying to address," McCormack alleged.

Hamas has made it very difficult for the people of Gaza to have a reasonable life, he said echoing the US President, George Bush, in his weekly radio address yesterday.

McCormack said the US has urged Israel that any military action needs to be mindful of the potential consequences on civilians.

The State Department spokesperson said the US is working towards a cease-fire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante, where Hamas can continue to launch rockets out of Gaza and to condemn the people of Gaza to a life of misery.

"It is obvious that cease-fire should take place as soon as possible, but we need a cease-fire that is durable, sustainable, and not time limited," he said.