Monday, March 3, 2008


EU Condemns Israeli Attacks on Gaza
EU president Slovenia on Sunday condemned Israel's attacks on Palestinians in Gaza as disproportionate and violating international law. The statement also condemned the firing of rockets by Palestinians from Gaza into Israel. (

Israel's Statement to the Security Council on Palestinian Rocket Fire from Gaza - Daniel Carmon (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Israeli Charge d'Affaires Daniel Carmon told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Saturday:

  • Israel has exercised restraint for many months now. This has been in spite of the constant firing of rockets and mortar shells on our towns and villages in southern Israel, every single hour, every single day. While Israel has been showing restraint, Hamas has showed no intention of ceasing its vicious attacks. Since Wednesday, more than 150 rockets were fired at Israel, dozens in the past 24 hours alone. More than a quarter of a million Israeli citizens are in the range of the deadly and murderous weapons of Hamas. The government of Israel should thus not apologize for protecting its citizens.
  • No responsible member state would sit back in silence and do nothing as its citizens and territory are under constant attack. The alarms in Sderot - and now Ashkelon - gave Israeli civilians less than 15 seconds before the rocket slams into their lives, their homes, hospitals, kindergartens, schools, and playgrounds. And their lives are destroyed forever.
  • Hamas not only seeks to kill Israelis; it has no concern for its own civilians. It fires rockets from populated civilian areas, using their civilians as human shields. This is a war crime against both Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinians in Gaza are victims of Hamas' regime of terror. It is not only Israelis. We are all being held hostage by Hamas, the real and only occupier in Gaza through its terror.
  • There should be no doubt in our minds that Hamas' true vision is the extermination of the State of Israel, and not to live peacefully side by side with us. It does not even seek to restore normalcy for the sake of the people of Gaza. Hamas bears sole responsibility for the violence.
  • Sitting on the sidelines will only embolden the extremists and convince them that they should not stop their violence. Israel expects the international community to support us in our protection of our people.
Prime Minister: Striking at Hamas Increases Chance for Peace - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Prime Minister Olmert told the Cabinet Sunday: "The State of Israel has no intention of halting counter-terrorism actions even for a second....We will act...without respite in order to strike at the terrorist organizations - Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the others, including their leaders, those who dispatch them, those who provide their weapons, those who allow them in to act in given places, according to the outline that we will choose."

"I have recently heard criticism and claims that civilians are being hurt, that the State of Israel is using too much force....
Nobody has the right to preach morality to the State of Israel for taking basic action to defend itself and prevent hundreds of thousands of residents of the south from continuing to be exposed to incessant firing that disrupts their lives."

"Striking at Hamas strengthens the chance for peace. The more that Hamas is hit, the greater the chances of reaching a diplomatic agreement and peace. It is clear to me that...the Palestinian leadership with whom we are trying to make peace understands this." (Prime Minister's Office)

Israeli Action in Gaza Met by Loud Silence from Arab World - Zvi Bar'el (Ha'aretz)
Palestinian Information Minister Riad al-Malki responded to Israel Defense Forces raids against militants firing rockets from Gaza by saying: "Hamas gave Israel an excuse to start a war in Gaza."

Mahmoud Abbas said that the "operation in Gaza is not just a reaction to the rocket barrage." Both comments can be interpreted as Palestinian backing of the Israel Defense Forces ground incursion.

Moreover, the very mild Egyptian reaction also indicates that the IDF raid is perceived by the Arab world to be first and foremost a war against Hamas, not the Palestinian people.

The fact that Al Jazeera devoted a whole episode of a popular debate show to the question "Why are the Palestinians keeping silent about the situation in Gaza?" also serves to prove this point.

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