Syrian president calls for halt of Israeli "massacres" of Palestinians
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlined the necessity on Tuesday to halt the Israeli "massacres " of unarmed Palestinian people, the official SANA news agency reported.
Assad made the remarks while meeting visiting U.S. Republican Senator Arlen Specter during which the two sides discussed the situation in the Middle East, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territories, Xinhua reported.
Assad urged Israel to "lift the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip and open all the crossings permanently," said the report.
Also on Tuesday, Syrian cabinet members observed a minute of silence in a weekly cabinet meeting, mourning for the Palestinian victims during the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.
They denounced the "brutal crimes" committed by the Israeli " war machine" against defenseless civilians and innocent women and children in the besieged strip sandwiched between Egypt and Israel.
They also stressed the need of immediate Arab action, holding an urgent Arab summit, and taking a unified Arab stance in order to end the aggression, open the crossing points, and break the siege imposed on Gaza.
The Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip is under intensive Israeli air strikes for the fourth successive day on Tuesday.
About 369 Palestinians have so far been killed and 1,700 others wounded in the powerful offensive which Israel declared was in retaliation for nearly daily cross-border rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.