Israel on brink of ground invasion; Gaza death toll rises as Hamas uses civilians

First, all news of civilian deaths is horrible. But in order to understand what is going on in Gaza these past days, it is crucial to remember, in the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  “The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians.”

You won’t hear the full text of Netanyahu’s remarks from mainstream media outlets, but it is important to understand that, as he puts it, “Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality, and it’s a very difficult reality, Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.”

Here is the latter half of the text of Netanyahu’s remarks:

“I want to remind you that seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now Hamas, they took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold. They fired thousands of rockets at our cities, at our towns, at our civilians, at our children. They’ve smuggled thousands of rockets and missiles into Gaza, and they deliberately place these rockets and missiles in civilian areas: in homes, in schools, near hospitals. This year alone, they fired over one thousand rockets and missiles at Israel, included close to 200 rockets in the last 24 hours. 

“I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand one simple point. There is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. And by contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties. I saw today a picture of a bleeding Israeli baby. This picture says it all: Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality, and it’s a very difficult reality, Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.

“Yesterday I spoke to President Obama and I briefed him on Israel’s operations. I want to express my appreciation once again to President Obama for his unequivocal clear sided support for Israel’s right to defend itself. I also want to express my appreciation to the other world leaders I’ve had a chance to speak to in the last 24 hours. I hope that Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza got the message. If not, Israel is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.”

This entry was written by and posted on November 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm and filed under Blog.

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