Israel: Gaza Operation Was "Necessary and Proportionate"

[Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs] The Israeli government released a comprehensive, 160-page report on Thursday on the IDF's operation in Gaza in December and January entitled Israel's Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects: This detailed study has been prepared in order to place the Gaza Operation in its proper factual and legal context. Israel had both a right and an obligation to take military action against Hamas in Gaza to stop Hamas' almost incessant rocket and mortar attacks upon thousands of Israeli civilians and its other acts of terrorism. Israel was bombarded by some 12,000 rockets and mortar shells between 2000 and 2008, including nearly 3,000 rockets and mortar shells in 2008 alone. Hamas specifically timed many of its attacks to terrorize schoolchildren in the mornings and the afternoons. These deliberate attacks caused deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage; forced businesses to close; and terrorized tens of thousands of residents into abandoning their homes. By late 2008, Hamas rocket fire was capable of reaching some of Israel's largest cities and strategic infrastructure, threatening one million Israeli civilians. Israel's resort to force in the Gaza Operation was both a necessary and a proportionate response to Hamas' attacks. By contrast, both before and during the Gaza Operation, Hamas committed clear, grave violations of international law. Israel deeply regrets the civilian losses that occurred during the Gaza Operation. But Israel has both the responsibility and the right under international law, as does every state, to defend its civilians from intentional rocket attacks.

2009-07-31 06:00:00

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