January 12, 2009
Israel’s foreign minister expresses Tel Aviv’s grave concern over “a wave of anti-Semitism” sparked by the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
In a statement released by her office on Monday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni expressed “Israel’s concern about the current wave of anti-Semitic attacks in various parts of the world.”
Israel’s 17-day-old offensive in the Gaza Strip has so far claimed the lives of at least 919 Palestinians, while some 4,100 others have been wounded.
UN figures show that the majority of casualties and injuries are civilian.
The operation has sparked widespread outrage around the globe, with many people and leaders condemning the Israeli acts and urging for an immediate halt in bombardment of the densely-populated strip.
“We have received with great concern and revulsion many reports of physical, moral, verbal and other manifestations of anti-Semitic attacks towards Jews and Israeli citizens in many parts of the world,” read the foreign ministry statement.
Tel Aviv launched Operation Cast Lead on Dec. 27 to put an end to rocket attacks against southern Israel.
At least 10 Israeli soldiers have been killed by resistance fighters in Gaza, while three Israelis have died in retaliatory rocket attacks by the Hamas movement.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday, calling for an immediate end to the ongoing crisis. Both sides, however, have rejected the resolution.
Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of the impoverished Gaza Strip, demands a cessation of an 18-month Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave — home to some 1.5 million Palestinians — before its fighters suspend retaliatory rocket attacks.