| 'Israel may target Iran next' |
Fri, 09 Jan 2009 16:17:10 GMT
William Perry, the US Secretary of Defense under president Bill Clinton, said Thursday a conflict between Israel and Iran is highly likely to happen during US President-elect Barack Obama's first year in office.
"It seems clear that Israel will not sit by idly while Iran takes defiant steps toward becoming a nuclear power," said Perry.
Tel Aviv accuses Tehran of developing a nuclear military program. Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), insists its program is poised for the civilian applications of the technology.
His comments come at a time when Israel is moving forward with its full-scale incursion into the Gaza Strip, which has sparked universal condemnation.
Some 783 people have died since the start of the Israeli operation on December 27, while 3,300 others are reported wounded in Gaza.
UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said Thursday that Israel's actions in Gaza are "shocking" violations of the laws of war, putting more than 20,000 people in a critical state of emergency.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is spiraling to a critical state as water and sewage systems are collapsing, hospitals are running on backup generators and access to the wounded remains very restricted.
On Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross was distraught after its medics found four emaciated children lying beside their dead mothers in a house containing 12 bodies in the Zaytun district of Gaza City.
"This is a shocking incident… the Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded," said Pierre Wettach, head of the aid agency's delegation for Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
An Israeli military official claimed that Tel Aviv could not always be concerned about the welfare of Palestinian civilians and that its soldiers remained its priority.
Planned us israeli attack on iran, by Pr Chossudovsky
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