We Have to Defend Ourselves From the Terrorists Who Have Taken the Palestinian People Hostage

[Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev - Ambassador Shalev told the UN Security Council on Tuesday: For eight years the citizens of southern Israel have suffered the trauma of almost daily missile attacks from Gaza. More than 8,000 rockets and mortar shells have targeted Israeli towns and villages. The residents of these towns have had a bare 15 seconds to hurry, with their children and their elderly, to find cover before rockets land on their houses and schools. No state would permit such attacks on its citizens. Nor should it. Israel sought every way to avoid the current conflict. In 2005 Israel removed from Gaza every soldier and civilian, along with their homes, schools and cemeteries. We did this to try to create an opening for peace. But Hamas is vehemently opposed to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Hamas has no interest in making peace with the enemy; for Hamas peace is the enemy. It was the hope for peace that led us to withdraw from Gaza and the terrorism of Hamas that compelled us to re-enter. When Hamas unilaterally announced the end of the Egyptian-brokered "calm" and began to wage a new campaign of rocket attacks against Israel's citizens with the weapons it had smuggled into Gaza during the "calm," we could restrain ourselves no longer. With its new Iranian-made missiles, Hamas is now able to reach the cities of Ashdod and Beersheba, placing over one million Israelis in the shadow of its terror. This is not about a "cease-fire" with terrorism or a mutual cessation of hostilities. It is about ensuring the end of terrorism from Gaza, and the end of smuggling weapons into Gaza; so that there is no longer a need for Israeli defensive operations. This conflict will end not when terrorism is appeased or accommodated but when the international community stands determined and united against it. It is not enough to support peace; we have to confront those who work to destroy it. For this reason, the current military operation is not an obstacle to peace; it is a prerequisite for peace.

2009-01-09 06:00:00

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