Ambassadör Ilan Ben-Dov skriver med anledning av raketanfallet i Be’er Sheva och upptrappningen i Gaza:
This morning, a rocket fired from Gaza hit the bedroom of 3 Israeli children. Their mother saved them as she rushed them from their beds to a bomb shelter just a few seconds before.
For many months now, tens of thousands of Israeli civilians who live next to the border with Gaza are suffering daily terrorist attacks. Hamas has been launching hundreds of rockets, mortars and missiles towards Israeli civilians.
In addition to this, Hamas activists are sending kites and balloons rigged with incendiary devices, burning rags and explosives that have destroyed forests, burned crops and killed wildlife and livestock.
One basic fact should be remembered: the Gaza strip is being ruled by Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Hamas does not see a compromise with Israel as a political option. Its one agenda is to destroy the State of Israel and to replace it with another Islamist, radical and violent totalitarian state to be established on the ruins of the Jewish State.
The current, grave humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a direct result of the conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian authority. The decision of the Palestinian Authority to stop the transfer of tax revenue to Gaza has led to the current economic crisis there.
Israel totally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. It has evacuated its military as well as all Jewish towns and villages. This was done with the intention that the Palestinians should use this opportunity to immediately start building civilian infrastructure – schools, roads and hospitals, for the welfare of its citizens.
Instead of doing this, Hamas carried out a violent coup d’êtat and has slaughtered large numbers of its political opponents and representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
Since then, all that Hamas is offering the citizens of Gaza is violence, poverty and hopelessness.
During the whole course of the Hamas attacks of recent months, Israel has time and again shown the greatest restraint while trying to explore all possible political and diplomatic avenues – through all available channels.
With all of this said, Israel is fully committed and determined to defend its citizens and will do so in accordance with its basic and legitimate right to self-defense.