|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-12-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 More Violence in the M. EastThe situation in the Middle East is dramatic, as the Israeli air force has been pounding Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip, where at least, 195 people were killed. The injured number 330. Today, has been described the bloodiest day on Palestinian territory for 20 years. Hamas has ordered a general counter-attack launching missiles on Israel's territory. The Israeli raid caused serious destructions on the Hamas security installations and in Gaza port. In parallel, Egypt has deployed troops along its border with the Gaza Strip. The international community appears concerned over a possible deterioration of the situation in the Middle East.
The escalation of violence in the Middle East has been described dramatic. Israeli jet fighters and helicopters have been launching raids against the Gaza Strip since dawn to destroy Hamas positions.The raids were first launched against the Hamas polic headquarters and then extended to the whole town, where police stations and other public buildings are. As the number of injured is high, there is no space for more injured in them.Accepting the escalation of violence, Hamas and other Palestinian organizations have announced that they ordered their members to retaliate Israel's attack."All our fighters are ordered to answer back to the Israeli massacre," reads Jihad's announcement, which carries identical positions with those of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations. Hamas members have launched a missile attack against Israel a few hours after the Israeli raid against Gaza. One of the missiles killed an Israeli civilian in Netivot, southern Israel. Egypt has deployed troops along its border with the Gaza Strip, opening in parallel the Rafah passing to allow medical services to receive wounded Palestinians. Six ambulances were sent to the passing. The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack and started a new round of talks with many countries in order to find a way to stop Israel's raids. Meanwhile, Israel has stated it is ready to extend its military attacks against the Gaza Strip. Defence Minister Ehud Barrack's assistant stated that the operation will continue and extend as along as it is required, depending on the commanders' evaluations. On a relative development, the Arab community is reacting strongly with its Interior Ministers announcing an extraordinary meeting due to be held in Cairo. The Islamic Conference Organisation issued a harsh announcement, stressing that the last Israeli massacre constitutes a crime of war, reflecting Israel's low appreciation to international laws and the Fourth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians during war time. Iran, from its side, denounced the Israeli attacks, calling on the international community in joint action. From its side Jordan has asked an extraordinary meeting among the Arab Foreign Ministers to be held, while Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi communicated with other Arab leaders, so as a firm and serious stand is adopted against Israeli aggression.
Morocco has denounced Israel's attacks, demanding immediate ceasefire and the continuation of dialogue between the parties involved in the crisis. It also spoke of disproportional use of violence and tragic escalation of violence. At the same time, many humanitarian organizations have called all involved parties on the Palestinian issue to avoid a full military dispute, as such a development could prove disastrous for Gaza.Amid anti-Israeli protests, the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah criticized the "complicity" of some Arab countries with Israel. The multi-fatality attacks have caused the international community's reaction.The USA has exerted pressure on Israel to be careful with civilians during its attacks, warning in parallel Hamas to end its missile attacks so that violence stops.
The EU French Presidency has expressed its deepest concern over the escalation of violence in the region, while Russia called on Israel to stop its operation against Gaza, demanding from Islamic Hamas to stop launching attacks with missiles against Israel.
Britain has expressed its deepest concern, advising the biggest restraint possible.
In Greece, KKE (Communist Party of Greece) issued an announcement speaking of a mass crime against the Palestinians, calling the Greek people to express its solidarity to the Palestinians.
News item: 17152
 Shops open on SundayNews
The Athens prefecture on Friday reversed its previous decision, taken on Christmas Eve, and will allow shops within its jurisdiction to open on Sunday, Dec. 28, following a groundswell of criticism by merchants' groups and the government, which demanded an extra shopping day to ameliorate the repercussions from recent riots.
Athens Prefect Yiannis Sgouros, the former president of the weightlifting federation and a noted PASOK party cadre, said the decision applies only for the specific day, with store employees' voluntary participation and under the provisions of labor laws regarding Sunday employment, i.e. extra pay or an additional day off.
The prefecture had come under sustained criticism on Wednesday after a majority of the prefectural council cited opposition by unions to oppose the measure, while saying, initially, that only stores in Athens proper should open and not in outlying municipalities, including ones in northern Athens that host the Greek capital's biggest shopping malls.
Source: Athens News Agency
News item: 17149
 Missile Attack in GazaIsrael's air force fired about 30 missiles at targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, destroying several Hamas police compounds and killing more than 140 people, medical officials and witnesses said. The Israeli military confirmed it had conducted strikes, saying they targeted "terrorist infrastructure" and pledging to continue and expand attacks if necessary.
Thick black smoke billowed over Gaza city, where the port and security installations of the Islamist Hamas group were badly damaged. Television footage showed dead bodies scattered on the ground and wounded and dead being carried away by distraught rescuers.Uniformed bodies lay in a pile and the wounded writhed in pain. Rescuers carried those showing signs of life to cars and ambulances, while others tried to revive the unconscious, television pictures showed. An aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the military was prepared to step up the assault if necessary. "The operation will be pursued and widened as required and subject to (commanders') assessments," the aide told Reuters. "We are facing a period that will not be simple or easy."
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the Israeli air attack in Gaza. Police chief Tawfiq Jabber was among the dead, Hamas' radio station reported.
Hamas and other Palestinian organizations announced today that they gave orders to their members to answer to the Israeli air attack in Gaza strip.
"We order all our fighters to answer to the Israeli slaughter, Tzihad announcement stresses.
News item: 17148