The civilians of southern Israel have been under sustained attack from Gaza
since last Saturday, November 10th. More than 120 rockets were fired before
Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense this afternoon (November 14).
The toll the rockets have taken on Israeli citizens is heavy. Over one
million civilians live in range and their lives are threatened with every
launch. Approximately 800 rockets and mortar shells have launched since the
start of the year. Daily life in southern Israel has been totally disrupted.
Israel has demonstrated great restraint, both in the current crisis and in
the two previous sustained barrages of the past month. However, the escalation
of events over the past few days forced Israel to react to the Hamas
Accordingly, Israel targeted Ahmed
Jabari, Hamas' military chief in Gaza and an arch-terrorist. Jabari was
responsible for all Hamas terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip in
the past decade. He was also directly involved in the abduction of IDF soldier
Shalit in 2006. In addition, Israel targeted the Fajr rocket sites in Gaza,
reducing Hamas' ability to launch these long-range missiles which are capable of
hitting Tel Aviv.
The aim of Operation Pillar of Defense is to remove a strategic threat to
Israeli citizens. To accomplish this, the IDF will act to protect the lives of
Israeli citizens, including by reducing the capabilities of Hamas' long and
short range rocket forces. Additionally, Israel is acting to impair Hamas'
command and control system.
All of Israel's actions have been taken in self-defense. It is the duty and
right of every state to protect its civilian population from attack. No other
state would allow a million citizens to be targeted by terrorist organizations
The targets of Israeli operations are all military. Israeli strikes are
conducted in a precise surgical manner, in order to reduce to a minimum any
effect on the civilian population of Gaza. Israel regrets any injury that may
nevertheless be caused to civilians in the Gaza Strip.
In sharp contrast, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations hide among the
civilian population of Gaza. They also direct their fire at the civilian
population of Israel. These actions constitute a double war crime.
Hamas fires rockets from residential area in Gaza, Oct 29,
total disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas continues to attack
Israel, proof of the fact that they are not fighting against Israel's
(non-existent) presence in Gaza but against Israel's very existence.
The international community should act to stop the attacks on Israel from the
Gaza Strip. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations cannot be allowed to act
with impunity against the civilian population of southern Israel.