Palestinian PM: Israel aims to topple government

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian Prime Minister, said Friday that; "This total war is proof of a premeditated plan. When they kidnapped the ministers they meant to hijack the government's position, but we say no positions will be hijacked, no governments will fall."

Haniyah said that that Israel's offensive in the Gaza strip was part of a premeditated plan to bring down the elected Palestinian government led by Hamas, and that it would fail.

Israel's air force struck roads, bridges and a power plant in Gaza within the past 24 hours, and the United Nations said it believes the destruction of the Gaza power plant has pushed Gaza close to a humanitarian crisis.

Israel maintains that its military activities are for the purpose of obtaining the safe return of one of its soldiers, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Palestinian militants this past Sunday. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said, "The quicker this is done the better it will be. If the soldier will be returned and the Qassam (rocket) fire will be halted, we will also return our soldiers to their bases."

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