U.S. President Bush laid the blame for recent fighting in Gaza squarely at the feet of Hamas, accusing militants of waging a campaign of violence against Israel with little regard for its people.
"Since Hamas' violent takeover in the summer of 2007, living conditions have worsened for Palestinians in Gaza," Bush says in prepared remarks released Friday by the White House. "By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people."
In a radio address to air Saturday, Bush says Hamas committed an act of terrorism when it renewed rocket attacks into Israel last month, provoking this week's airstrikes by Israel.
"In response to these attacks on their people, the leaders of Israel have launched military operations on Hamas positions in Gaza," Bush says. "As a part of their strategy, Hamas terrorists often hide within the civilian population, which puts innocent Palestinians at risk." Watch White House reaction to the Gaza crisis
Palestinian medical sources said Friday that at least 421 people have been killed and 2,200 wounded in Gaza since Israeli air raids began December 27. Read full article »