Gaza: Jerusalem explains

November 15, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The Israeli Foreign Ministry has issued a statement through the Embassy of Israel in Canberra dealing with the current situation in Gaza…

In response to the incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip the IDF has launched a campaign against terror targets in Gaza. The IDF targeted Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas military wing, in the Gaza Strip and seriously damaged Hamas’ long-range missile capabilities.

Who was Ahmed Jabari?

Jabari was responsible for all Hamas terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip during the last decade. He was involved in planning and arranging funding for military activities and terrorist attacks against Israel.

During the last few years, Jabari led Hamas’s military arm in a series of events that shaped the reality in the Gaza Strip – such as the Hamas take-over in 2007, and directing the cycles of escalation against Israel.

Jabari was involved in orchestrating the attack in June 2006 in which several IDF soldiers were killed and the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.

After Shalit was kidnapped, and throughout the years of negotiating a deal for his release, Jabari headed the Hamas negotiation team and took an extremist and hawkish position.

Background:

For the third time in a month, the civilians of southern Israel are under rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.

The current attacks began on Saturday night (Nov.10) when an anti-tank missile was fired at an army jeep traveling on the Israeli side of the border fence. Four IDF soldiers were injured. Since then, over 120 rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians.

The lives of 1 million Israeli civilians are being threatened and daily life in southern Israel has been totally disrupted.

The residents of communities near the Gaza border suffer constantly from rocket and mortar shell attacks. These attacks occur almost on a routine basis, as do escalations of other types of terrorist activities carried out by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations that operate under Hamas’ protection.

The pauses between the waves of rocket attacks are shortening. In the past month, Israel has been subjected to three separate periods of escalation. Since the beginning of the year, more than 800 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel, a record amount since the end of Operation Cast Lead (January 2009). This peak is similar to the attacks that occurred in 2007-8.

Main Points:

  • ·        The goal of Israel’s operation is clearly defined and is aimed at removing a strategic threat to Israeli citizens. Israel is not interested in a deterioration of the situation.
  • ·        Israel has demonstrated great restrain for a long period but cannot stand for the recurring attacks on its citizens. No other state would accept a similar reality.
  • ·        Israel is acting in self-defense and out of its duty to protect its civilians from terrorist attacks.
  • ·        Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and is responsible for all that occurs in Gaza and all that is launched from there.
  • ·        It must be noted that Israel disengaged completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The result of Israel’s disengagement is that Gaza has become a giant ammunition dump. In addition, it provides a breeding ground for terrorist groups to organize and to operate, including groups associated with al-Qaeda and Global Jihad. All this under the rule, responsibility and sponsorship of Hamas.
  • ·        Weapons smuggled from Libya, Iran and Sudan accelerated the process of Gaza turning into a terror base. These weapons also increased the danger posed to the Israeli population.
  • ·        Hamas and the other terrorist organizations hide among the civilian population of Gaza. They also deliberately direct their fire at the civilian population of Israel. These acts constitute a double war crime.
  • ·        The targets of the Israeli operation are all military. Israel will make every effort to prevent harm to the civilian population of Gaza, and regrets any injury to civilians.
  • ·        The border crossings from Israel to the Gaza Strip remain open, allowing for the routine passage of goods and humanitarian aid.
  • ·        The international community must act to stop the attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and should not wait for an Israeli reaction to act. Time and again, Israel has warned that it would not tolerate these attacks.

 

Defence Minister Ehud Barak made the following statement at a press conference earlier this evening (Wednesday, 14 November 2012), at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv:

“A few hours ago, the political echelons ordered the IDF to launch Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. The accuracy of the intelligence on behalf of both the Israel Security Agency and our Military Intelligence, as well as the precise action of the IDF, led to the elimination of Hamas’ military leader [Ahmad] Jabari. We also struck most of the long range Fajr missiles, additional Hamas infrastructure, as well as other terror elements.

Israel does not want war. But Hamas’ consistent provocation in recent weeks, in particular the incessant rounds of artillery rockets and mortars into the heart of our southern communities, the tunnel which exploded deep into Israeli territory, the anti-tank missile fired at a jeep – again inside of Israel – forced our hand into acting with both precision and decisiveness.

We must be clear that Israel will not tolerate a situation in which there is incessant [rocket] fire on our citizens.  No life loving country would accept this situation.

The goals of the operation are as follows:

  • Strengthening our deterrence
  • To inflict serious damage on the rocket launching network
  • To deliver a painful blow for Hamas and the other terrorist organizations
  • To minimize damage to our home front

I would also like to express my deep appreciation for Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, Israel Security Agency Director Yoram Cohen, head of the Military Intelligence and his personnel, the IDF, the ‘Iron Dome’ system and its operators, and of course the Air Force.  I wish you all continued success throughout the operation.  The IDF will receive the full backing to do all that is necessary in order to restore quiet to the south.

There is no ‘quick-fix’ solution. Right now, as we stand here, massive barrages of missiles are being fired at our cities. But we will achieve these aforementioned goals throughout the course of this operation.

During the last few hours, I have spoken with mayors and regional councils throughout the south. I would like to commend them on their resilience and the spirit of the civilians in all the communities in the southern region. It is the source of our strength in this battle that we are waging today.

We are still at the beginning of the event, not at the end, and we expect some complicated tests ahead. It will require vigilance; not only in Gaza, but also in Israel and in Judea and Samaria. But in the long run I believe that this operation will contribute to strengthening deterrence and reinstituting the calm in the south. I call upon the leaders of the region to act with composure, in order to promote stability and restore quiet so that we are not – heaven forbid – dragged into further deterioration.”

A spokesman for U.S. Department of State said:

“We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening (Wednesday, 14 November 2012), spoke with US President Barack Obama. The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation for US President Obama’s support of Israel’s right to defend itself.

Earlier, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with US Vice President Joe Biden and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. It is expected that the Prime Minister will also speak with other world leaders.

Comments

3 Responses to “Gaza: Jerusalem explains”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    The US says what it feels it has to say – that’s all. Did you notice Obama’s body language and the lack of real enthusiasm, or energy, coming from him during his particular comments on the situation. The US will only be an ally of Israel while it suits them to be

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    I heard of the assination from BBC at 5.30 this am, in full on Marius Benson on ABC Radio.
    In any news radio or television have heard any references to the ongoing rocket attacks on the hundred or so inhabitants where they were aimed at.
    I can see how viewers and listeners are left with a biased mentality.
    Hearing is believing and I will take it up with the ABC.

  3. Rita says:

    A spokesman for U.S. Department of State said:

    “We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence. There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel…

    =================================

    WOW !!! This reaction by the US should be the least Israel can expect from his “ally”, so, why am I so surprised by it…the US elections are over after all…

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