LEARN FROM BUSH’S MISTAKES – Hamas urges President Obama

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Palestinian resistance movement Hamas yesterday called on President Barack Obama to learn lessons from the mistakes of his predecessor George W Bush and said it would judge the new US leader by his acts.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told a press conference in Gaza City: ‘We will judge him by his policies and actions on the ground and how he will learn lessons from the mistakes of the previous administrations, especially that of George Bush and his criminal and unjust policies.’

The Lebanese national liberation movement Hezbollah has congratulated the Hamas leader Khaled Mishaal and the Palestinian people for their ‘triumph’ against invading Israeli forces in Gaza.

In a telephone call to Mishaal, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah applauded Palestinian sacrifices in the Gaza Strip, highlighting that Israel’s ‘defeat’ in Gaza marked the second defeat of Israeli forces in as many years, referring to the July 2006 war in Lebanon.

Mishaal thanked Nasrallah for Hezbollah’s ‘unwavering support for the Palestinian resistance,’ insisting that the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance both face ‘the same challenges and same destiny.’

On Tuesday, Nasrallah had phoned the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad, congratulating him on the ‘defeat of Israeli forces.’

The International Committee of the Red Cross says that a massive reconstruction effort is needed to overcome the devastation of Israel’s 23-day onslaught on Gaza.

‘The level of destruction is absolutely overwhelming,’ said ICRC delegate Jérome Giraud.

‘Most people have not been able to move back to their houses.

‘Many checked on their homes, but then decided to return to the UNRWA shelters. They had no other choice.’

Meanwhile, a Norwegian diplomat based in Saudi Arabia has sent out e-mails from her Foreign Ministry e-mail account equating Israel’s offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with the systematic mass murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.

The e-mail, sent out by Trine Lilleng, a first secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Riyadh, includes a juxtaposition of black-and-white pictures from the Holocaust with colour images of ‘Operation Cast Lead’.

‘The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany,’ the e-mail states.