WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Israel did not seek
approval from Washington before waging a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip
ruled by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), said U.S. Vice President Dick
Cheney on Sunday.
"They didn't seek clearance or approval from us,
certainly," the vice president said on CBS' Face The Nation on Sunday, his first
public remark on Israel's military strikes targeted Hamas.
Israel's ground troops, backed by gunships and tanks,
on Saturday night launched an invasion into the Gaza Strip. Reports here quoted
Palestinian security sources as saying that the troops have gained control of
the eastern section of the northern Gaza Strip throughout Sunday.
The strikes lasting eight days in the Gaza Strip have
killed some 480 people, mostly Palestinian militants, and wounded 2,800 others.
For the Israeli side, four people have been killed in the ongoing rocket attacks
by Hamas and other Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.
"I think it's important to remember who the enemy is
here," Cheney said, when asked if the ground attack was a mistake. "The enemy is
not the Palestinians, from the perspective of the Israelis -- it's Hamas. ...
You've got a UN member state being attacked by a terrorist organization."
"To go after that terrorist organization, I think
they probably decided that an air campaign wasn't enough, that they had to go in
on the ground if they were going to take down the sites from which the rockets
had been launched against Israel," Cheney defended Israel's ground operation.
"If there's to be a ceasefire, you can't simply go
back to the status quo anti, what it was a few weeks ago. ... It's got to be a
sustainable, durable proposition, and Hamas has to stop rocketing Israel. And I
don't think you can have a viable ceasefire until their prepared to do that,"
Rice cancels China trip amid crisis in
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua)
-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has canceled the scheduled trip to China
this week because ofthe crisis in the Gaza Strip, U.S. State Department said on