Netanyahu rallies foreign support for Gaza response

Politicians draw lines in the sand over possible ground operation in Gaza.

By
November 12, 2012 15:23
3 minute read.
Netanyahu with foreign envoys.

Netanyahu with foreign envoys 370. (photo credit: Koby Gidon/GPO)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday told a group of foreign ambassadors that Israel has a right and an obligation to defend its citizens against ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks. The comment came as politicians from across the political spectrum drew lines in the sand over the possibility of an IDF ground operation in the Strip.

"If an alarm sounds, people in southern Israel - 1 million people - have 15 seconds to find shelter," Netanyahu said. "I don't know if any of your governments will accept this reality. I cannot accept this. The world needs to understand that Israel has the right and duty to defend its citizens. We will act to stop the rocket fire."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich, on a tour of the rocket-hit South, positioned herself against intensive military action, telling Army Radio, "We are on the eve of elections, and operations beyond air attacks or targeted strikes require stability and national consensus at home."

"It could be that such an operation is necessary, but not now," Yacimovich continued.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin disagreed. At a ceremony marking 56 years since the Sinai Campaign, Rivlin said that the upcoming election should not deter the military from a wide-scale operation in Gaza.

"Whoever thinks we forgot how to deal with continuing attrition, whoever thinks that we will allow a quarter of Israel's population to live under total paralysis is preparing himself for defeat," Rivlin stated.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, of the Likud, warned that over time, rocket fire would hit closer and closer to Israel's Center, and that Israel cannot simply shield itself. "There is no escaping it seems, a military decision on Hamas in Gaza," he told Army Radio.



Despite the scope of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza 2008, Steinitz said that Israel has not yet had an operation along the lines of Defensive Shield, the intensive 2002 anti-terror operation in the West Bank.

Steinitz also said that Palestinians were attacking Israel from every side, citing both the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's ongoing UN upgrade efforts .

"We are being attacked militarily with terrorism from Gaza, and being attacked diplomatically from Ramallah," Steinitz said in an interview with Army Radio.

Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said that, in his experience as former IDF chief of staff, the best policy to stop Hamas terrorist is to target and assassinate the terrorist organization's leaders.

"We achieved great deterrence with the policy of targeted killings," Mofaz said in an interview with Army Radio. "Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was strong against [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] but not when it comes to Hamas."

President Shimon Peres told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the terrorist attacks on southern Israel are “idiotic,” and Israel must respond swiftly and strongly to them.

Israel is trying to avoid any large-scale retaliation or another war against Hamas in Gaza that would inevitably harm civilians, Peres intimated, but may have no choice if the current situation in which a million mothers and children in the South cannot have a full night’s sleep continues.

Yet, he continued, diplomacy would ultimately be required for a long-term solution. “You can’t fight terror just by shooting,” he said.

On Sunday, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro expressed support for Israel, writing on his Facebook page that, “the United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens from these attacks."

Steve Linde and Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.

Related Content

Stacks of Israeli shekel notes [Illustrative]
August 16, 2018
Food for thought

By DUDU LEVY REICH