(Eagle News) – The Israel government press office (GPO) said the Palestine militant group Hamas which is currently occupying and ruling Gaza was “responsible for the death and injury of tens of thousands of Israeli and Palestinian civilians.”
In a statement issued Wednesday, May 19 by the State of Israel’s Prime Minister’s office and the GPO, it said that Hamas — a Palestine Islamist group tagged as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan and Israel — was deliberately targeting civilian population centers throughout Israel with rockets and other weapons.
The Israel government office under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hamas in Gaza has been using “human shields” and “firing rockets from within civilian spaces in Gaza and hiding its leaders, terrorists and military facilities there as well.”
There have been at least 4,000 rockets fired from Gaza aimed at Israel, but most of these, around 90 percent, had been intercepted by Israel with the use of its “Iron Dome Missile Defense System.”
“Hamas uses its own population as human shields, firing rockets from within civilian spaces in Gaza and hiding its leaders, terrorists and military facilities there as well. This is effectively a double war crime: not only do they indiscriminately fire rockets at Israeli civilians, but they do so from areas densely populated with Palestinian civilians,” Israel’s government press office said in a statement.
-Up to 30% of Hamas’ rockets launched at Israel landed in Gaza-
It said many of the civilian casualties in Gaza were killed by Hamas rockets that had “failed inflight” which the Palestine group blamed on Israel.
“Hamas has a long history of misrepresenting and even faking facts. In previous conflicts, it provided civilian casualty figures that were later proven to include large numbers of terrorists and other combatants. It presents civilians who were used as human shields as victims of Israeli aggression. Similarly, the deaths of Palestinians killed by rockets that failed inflight (it is estimated that approximately 20-30% of the rockets launched at Israel land in Gaza instead) are blamed on Israel,” the statement said.
In over 10 days, there were 227 Palestinians killed in Gaza strikes, while 12 were killed in Israel, according to various reports.
Israel’s statement also detailed how the latest conflict between Israel and the terrorist Hamas organization started.
“The massive rocket attacks from Gaza that began on 10 May came after weeks of Palestinian terrorism, rockets and incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip, massive riots and other attacks on Jewish civilians in Jerusalem,” it said.
-Diversion amid canceled Palestine polls-
“Although the Palestinians and their supporters have tried to justify these violent acts by linking them to a variety of Israeli actions, in fact they are the result of Palestinian plans, made in accordance to Palestinian interests, often based on internal Palestinian struggles and on Palestinian goals.”
The Israel government’s press statement explained how the Palestinian Authority was “trying to divert attention away from its own decision to postpone elections, thereby deflecting any potential criticism.”
Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas decided to cancel Palestinian elections that had been scheduled for this weekend, May 22. Abbas’s secular Fatah movement had reached a deal with its long-term rivals Hamas to hold the vote, but Abbas cancelled it citing Israel’s refusal to guarantee voting in annexed east Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital.
“Palestinian experts have said Hamas is now seeking to establish itself as the real defenders of Palestinians against Israel, and as a more forceful voice than Abbas’s Fatah,” said a report from Agence France Presse.
-Hamas group aiming to strengthen role with conflict, says Israel statement-
The Israel government press office said that the terrorist group Hamas is igniting violence and unrest while trying to strengthen its position with the Palestine population.
“Hamas is attempting to strengthen its position, both in eyes of the Palestinian population and the Muslim world, by igniting violence and unrest, all the while trying to claim the role of Jerusalem’s defender,” it said.
“This escalation was directly caused by Palestinian incitement. The Palestinian leadership has been deliberately and publicly inciting to violence over the past several weeks with the Hamas terrorist organization in particular exploiting sensitive national sentiments during the Ramadan period to stoke tensions,” the statement explained.
The Prime Minister’s office said that this week’s flare-up followed “several weeks of escalating Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians.”
It said that the Hamas terrorist organization fired over 40 rockets at Israel in April alone and that “incendiary balloon devices launched from Gaza caused dozens of fires, resulting in widespread environmental and economic damage throughout southern Israel.”
“In a shooting attack at the Tapuah Junction in early May, a Palestinian terrorist killed a 19-year-old yeshiva student and injured two others. Border police stopped an attempted stabbing attack in Hebron and prevented a serious mass attack when they diverted a minibus carrying three heavily armed terrorists to the Salem Junction border police base. Combined, these attacks left almost seventy Israeli civilians injured in just the past month – before the current escalation.”
It also said “violent rioters led by the Hamas terrorist organization and the Palestinian Authority met in planned clashes, with the goal of igniting violence and unrest in the city of Jerusalem.”
“Deliberately manufactured flashpoints were used to stoke the flames. Every Israeli attempt to deescalate the situation was either ignored or drove the Palestinians to focus on a new issue after the removal of their contrived excuse for unrest.”
It said that Israel had taken every measure possible to deescalate the situation, including delaying a Supreme Court hearing on the the divisive Sheik Jarrah issue, and stopping Jews from entering the Temple Mount, a holy site for both Jews and Moslems. The Moslems refer to it as Haram al-Sharif, one of three sacred mosques. For Israel, this is the the “Temple in Jerusalem” located in the Old Jerusalem city referred to in the Bible.
“Throughout the past several weeks, Israel has taken every measure possible to deescalate the situation. When Jerusalem was being used as the excuse for unrest, Israel stopped allowing the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and changed the route of the Jerusalem Day Flag March – before cancelling it entirely due to rocket fire – while the Supreme Court delayed a court hearing on the issue of Sheikh Jarrah. Each and every one of these steps was taken in order to prevent violence and restore calm,” the Israel government’s statement said.
But it said “Hamas responded to these measures with more violence, more incitement, and more rockets.”
“Hamas controls the government bodies that supply basic information, such as the Ministry of Health, and does not hesitate to falsify data when it serves its purposes.”
-Israel gov’t says terrorism shouldn’t be tolerated –
“The first and primary task is to communicate to Hamas that terrorism will not be tolerated, let alone rewarded. As long as this internationally-recognized terrorist organization believes that it stands to gain from the violence, rockets will continue to reign down on towns and cities, forcing Israel to respond,” the Israel government’s statement said.
Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu told a group of foreign ambassadors in a Tel Aviv briefing that “there are only two ways that you can deal with them,” referring to the Hamas.
“You can either conquer them, and that’s always an open possibility, or you can deter them, and we are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say we don’t rule out anything.”
The statement from the Israel government’s press office said “world leaders who support Israel in its fight against terrorism are not lacking in compassion towards Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”
It said that foreign leaders acknowledge the reality of the current situation: “Hamas instigated this conflict with no concern for civilian life on either side of the border and with the expectation that it can exploit Palestinian suffering to delegitimize the State of Israel.”
Israel said that “attempts to create equivalence between a terrorist organization that provokes conflict and a democratic state that seeks to protect its population is not only morally offensive, it encourages future terrorist attacks.”
Hamas, like many other terrorist organizations, seeks to undermine the legitimacy of democratic nations acting in self-defense. Its actions cannot be condoned,” Israel’s government press office stressed.
“It designs a situation that leaves Israel with no choice but to react, deliberately places Gaza’s civilian population and infrastructure in harm’s way, and then reaps the rewards by claiming victim status. The importance of not falling into Hamas’ trap cannot be overstated.”
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had a “detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States,” the White House said.
“The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” the White House statement added.
(Eagle News Service)