Israel to UN: Hamas Using Lull to Smuggle and Produce More Rockets

[Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Ambassador Dan Gillerman - Across the globe, forces of extremism seek to transform resolvable political conflicts into endless religious wars. They fight not for their own rights, but to deprive the rights of others. In our region, Iran, a notorious state sponsor of terrorism, uses proxies like Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas among the Palestinians to draw the moderates into a cosmic battle, where victory is not about achievement but about total annihilation. During the last month, Hamas fired more than 300 rockets at Israel, at least 23 of them Iranian-made Grad missiles - smuggled into Gaza from Iran during the breach of the Gaza border this January - that hit the city of Ashkelon, with a population of 120,000. Though some wish to refer to an apparent lull in Hamas' rocket attacks, I must warn that the perceived quiet is only on the surface. The rockets out of Gaza have not stopped. Hamas is using this time to smuggle in and produce more rockets. Building rockets is a silent promise of more terror and more violence, more extremism and more bloodshed. When it comes to the discourse concerning our region, some have a penchant for equating the lawful actions of states in defense of their citizens with the violence of terrorists whose goal is to endanger those very civilians. Such parity undermines the strength and credibility of moderate states to bolster one another and isolate the extremists. Whereas Israel goes to great lengths to ensure the safety and well-being of all civilian populations - Palestinian and Israeli alike - in accordance with international law, Hamas indiscriminately fires rockets into Israeli civilian areas. While for Israel every dead Palestinian child is a horrible mistake and tragedy, for the terrorists every dead Israeli child is a victory and a cause for celebration.

2008-03-26 01:00:00

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