Rantisi - Doctor of Death -

(Israel's UN Mission) Ambassador Dan Gillerman - Statement to the UN Security Council, 19 April 2004: Rantisi was a radical terrorist leader who joyfully and publicly gloated and celebrated over the murder of innocent men, women, and children. He sought to destroy any peace initiative and called for the destruction of Israel by force of arms. He believed that violence was the only option, and was committed to fostering terrorism in Iraq and throughout the Western world. He was a doctor of death, turning his craft from the healing of children to the killing of children. Had it been possible to arrest Rantisi, while minimizing harm to civilian life, Israel would have done so. But in the absence of any cooperation from the Palestinian Authority and any viable means of arrest, Israel is sometimes left no choice but to target those who plan, orchestrate, and execute the murder of our innocent civilians. It is not good enough to affirm in theory Israel's right to defend itself in this conflict, but then in practice seek to deny us the right to specifically target those illegal combatants directly responsible, as well as their command and control structure. We do so in a manner that is both necessary and proportionate, and when no other realistic option of detention or prevention exists. In these circumstances, such actions are wholly consistent with international law and we have little doubt that nations similarly faced with such a horrific choice would act accordingly and, indeed, have done so - and are doing so - with the support or acquiescence of the international community. The targeting of Rantisi was not merely a necessary defensive act to prevent ongoing and planned attacks against innocent civilians. It is part of the global struggle against terrorism that has been thrust upon all of us. It sends a clear message that those who deal in terrorism - those who have exported airplane hijackings, kidnappings, and suicide bombings to the world - will have no immunity.

2004-04-21 00:00:00

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