Nov. 15 - British Foreign Minister William Hague calls for all sides not to escalate the violence in Gaza and says Hamas holds ''principal responsibility'' for the crisis. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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British Foreign Minister William Hague calls upon both sides in the Gaza crisis not to risk escalating the situation, as violence between Israel and Palestinian militants intensified on Thursday.
Hague said Hamas bears "principal responsibility" for the crisis and called for the group to immediately cease attacks.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING:
"Hamas bears principal responsibility for this crisis. I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups. This creates an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel which have the right to live without fear of attacks from Gaza. Rocket attacks also worsen the plight of Palestinian civilians living in Gaza which is already of course a precarious situation. Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza should cease attacks against Israel immediately and I call those in the region with influence over Hamas to use that influence to bring an end to the attacks. I also strongly urge Israel to do its utmost to reduce tension, to avoid civilian causalities and to increase the prospects of both sides to live in peace. It is imperative to avoid the risk of a spiral of violence.
On Thursday, Israeli warplanes bombed targets in and around Gaza city with the Palestinian death toll rising to 13, while a Hamas rocket killed three Israelis in the town of Kiryat Malachi.