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Israel will defend its people at all costs: Israeli representative

Israel will defend its people at all costs: Israeli representative

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Raphael Gamzou, the head of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO) , said at a press conference Friday that Israel is prepared to defend its people at all costs in response to the rocket attacks launched by the ruling Islamic militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Gamzou, Israel's top representative to Taiwan, said it is important that the Taiwanese people understand Israel's struggle, as no one is inmune from extremist terrorism.
"The recent Mumbai attacks on foreign citizens by terrorist organizations is an example of what the Israeli people have endured in the past seven years," said Gamzou.
According to the Israeli representative, intense levels of rocket fire against the Israeli city of Sderot and the area of the Western Negev began in January 2001, and continue to this very day. As of January 2008, over 8,000 rockets had been launched by terrorists in Gaza at Sderot and Western Negev, causing significant damage to homes and property, while injuring 583 Israeli residents and traumatizing thousands of adults and children, according to Gamzou. Approximately 2.5 kilometers outside of Western Negev, Sderot is on the receiving end of a large number of rocket attacks from Gaza, said Gamzou.
Describing the suffering of the residents in the area over the past seven years, Gamzou said that of the 28 deaths from terrorist rocket fire in Western Negev since 2001, nine victims were Sderot residents, three of whom were children. Thousands of Sderot residents have relocated from the city out of fear for their lives and their children's lives, he added.
"Whoever heard Hamas's statements understood that they decided to increase the attacks on the residents of Israel by firing rockets and mortars indiscriminately," said Gamzou, adding that Israel had no alternative but to respond.
Gamzou stressed that while Israel does not rejoice in battle, it will not be deterred from it.
Quoting a passage from the Bible -- "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth" -- Gamzou said that many of the terrorists are children who have been brainwashed and manipulated by cruel and cynical leaders.
According to ISECO, for approximately seven years, hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens living in the southern cities of the country, adjacent to the Gaza Strip, have been suffering as a result of missiles being fired at them by Hamas terrorists.
"I urge the Taiwanese people not to be fooled by the cheap terrorist propaganda of a humanitarian disaster in the area, as we will see to the needs of the population in Gaza and will do our best to prevent a humanitarian crisis that will impinge upon residents' lives," said Gamzou.
Being in the front line of the war against terrorism and the only democratic free society in the Middle East, Israel needs the support of the international community in its struggle to achieve peace and coexistence with the Palestinian people in the area, Gamzou said. Israel is not at war with the Arab world -- the Islamic, the Muslim or the Palestinian people -- as its main targets are Iranian-funded extremist organizations such as the Hamas terrorist organizations and the Islamic Jihad, he said.
The current Israeli military operation in the Gaza strip is designed, first and foremost, to bring about an improvement in the security reality for the residents of the southern part of Israel, he added.
"We did everything in our power to fulfill the conditions of the calm in the south and enable normal life for citizens in the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, but the peace and quiet we offered was returned by Hamas' shelling," said Gamzou.
Asked about Palestinian civilian casualties in the conflict, Gamzou said the Israeli forces are focusing only on military and terrorist targets, but its hard to avoid some "collateral damage", especially when the Hamas militants use their own citizens as human shields.
(By Luis Yu)




Updated : 2021-04-14 23:21 GMT+08:00