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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-13

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ex-Israeli minister details positions on Gaza military operations
  • [02] Greek stocks end 1.41% down on Tues.

  • [01] Ex-Israeli minister details positions on Gaza military operations

    A well-known former Israeli minister and currently high-ranking Likud party cadre on Tuesday detailed the Israeli perspective and positions in the ongoing military operations in Gaza, during the first press briefing at the Israeli embassy in Athens since Israel's military offensive began.

    Former minister Limor Livnat, who served as a prominent Cabinet minister in both the Netanyahu and Sharon governments of the 1990s and until 2006, echoed Israeli leadership's position that the IDF's campaign on the ground, air and sea of Gaza aims directly at ending Hamas' ability to fire rockets into southern Israel and to prevent weapons smuggling into the densely populated Palestinian enclave.

    Livnat expressed her deep regrets for the civilian losses caused by the military operations, but noted that Israel is obliged to protect its citizens. The former education repeatedly emphasised that Hamas fired twice as many rockets and missiles at Israel after Israeli forces evacuated Gaza in 2005.

    Along those lines, she said she regretted her support of the Sharon government's decision to disengage from Gaza.

    "⦠They (Hamas) did not use the area for peace, but for attacks," she said.

    Asked about the prospects of international inspectors in and around Gaza to monitor any future ceasefire or truce agreement, Livnat said that "inspections by other countries, when ready, may be good. Inspections by Egypt may not be enough; definitely the US (should be involved) and maybe the Europeans."

    "‚¶ We do expect that the EU and Europeans to balance their declarations and see both sides, and not to compare Hamas with the Israeli military‚¶" she said, which charging that the group, Hamas, is no different from the terrorists organizations al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

    [02] Greek stocks end 1.41% down on Tues.

    Greek stocks remained under strong pressure at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the composite index losing 1.41 pct to end at 1,844.43 points. Turnover was an improved 120.3 million euros, of which 2.5 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Travel (3.47 pct), Financial Services (3.19 pct0 and Commerce (2.57 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Healthcare (3.37 pct) and Media (0.51 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 1.59 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.85 pct down and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.98 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 140 to 60 with another 47 issues unchanged.

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