Israeli Premier Arial Sharon has expressed his regret about the death of civilians in the course of an Israeli army operation in the Arab village of Khan Yunis, Gaza.
At the same time, he said during a Monday meeting with Javier Solana, the European Union's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, that the operation in Gaza was necessary to keep terrorism in check.
Solana had arrived in the Mideast on Monday and intends to visit several countries of the region in search of ways to settle the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation.
He harshly criticized the goings-on in Khan Yunis, saying the four-sided Committee on Mideastern Settlement, which unites the United Nations, the European Union, the USA and Russia, was against all kinds of activity that harmed the civilian population.
According to recent reports, the Israeli raid in Gaza on the night of October 7th killed 14 Palestinians and wounded 134. Early on Monday morning, assert Palestinians, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile into a group of believers that had gathered near a mosque for the morning prayer. Israeli soldiers also attacked a local hospital with machine-guns.
Israel, on its part, insists that the purpose of the operation in Khan Yunis was to liquidate the headquarters of the radical movement HAMAS and the local workshops that produce explosives, missiles and shells.
Last night, according to recent reports from Gaza, Israeli servicemen arrested more Palestinians suspected of terrorist activity or of having links with terrorist organizations. Reports said they arrested three activists of the organization Islamic Jihad in the central part of Gaza Strip. The arrests were accompanied by armed clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. 12 more Palestinians were arrested on the night of October 8th in the neighbourhood of Nablus, West Bank.