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Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58AM
Palestinians inspect the damaged cars following an Israeli airstrike on the village of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2012.

Palestinians inspect the damaged cars following an Israeli airstrike on the village of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on November 18, 2012.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Tel Aviv regime has staged a war against the besieged Gaza Strip in order to secure its survival. The Iranian president made the remarks during a cabinet meeting held in Tehran on Sunday. Ahmadinejad condemned the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip and called on the western countries -- which have defended Israel’s occupation of Palestine for decades -- to “allow the Palestinian nation to control their own destiny.” Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi slammed the international community’s indifference to the Israeli regime’s aggression against the Gaza Strip at an opening address to Syria’s National Dialog meeting. Israeli airstrikes, shelling, and artillery fire have left 79 Palestinians dead and over 700 others injured since November 14. Some of the injured are in critical condition. Israel conducted more than 130 aerial and sea attacks against the Gaza Strip on Sunday and Israeli naval gunboats fired shells and rockets on the Strip. The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used, in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured. Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education. NT/AS
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