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Powell: US Opposes Israel' s Destruction of Palestinian Homes - 2004-05-16


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States opposes Israel's destruction of Palestinian homes in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Mr. Powell was speaking at a news conference at a Dead Sea resort in Jordan, where he has been participating in the World Economic Forum.

Secretary Powell says the United States is opposed to some of Israel's actions over the past week.

"We know that Israel has the right for self defense, but the kind of action they are taking in Rafah, with the destruction of Palestinian homes, we oppose," he said.

Israeli forces have destroyed dozens of Palestinian homes in Rafah, arguing they were being used for attacks against Israeli troops.

There has been fierce fighting in the Gaza Strip over the past week in Gaza City and around the Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza. Thirteen Israeli soldiers and at least 29 Palestinians have been killed in the clashes.

Secretary Powell faced some tough questions at the Dead Sea conference about American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said the United States is anxious to do all it can to end the cycle of violence.

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