Shimon Peres 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The festive inauguration of the Safed Medical School on Sunday was marred by
anger at the renewed barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza which once again put
Israel’s southern communities on red alert.
President Shimon Peres
prefaced his remarks at the inauguration by lashing out at Hamas, and warning
that if it continued to strike out at Israel and threaten its existence, it
would find its own existence under threat.
Peres declared that Hamas was
directly responsible for all the hostility towards Israel that emanates from
If Hamas rules in Gaza, Peres reasoned, then Hamas is responsible
for all that happens in Gaza. It is perfectly clear that Hamas is firing rockets
at random at Israeli citizens, without specifically targeting anyone, said
Peres, who found it ludicrous that Hamas is protesting the measures being taken
in response by the IDF.
“Why are they shooting?” he demanded, as he
chastised those in the world who claim that the Israeli response to the rocket
attacks is disproportionate.
“Is the firing of rockets proportionate?” he
Israel has every right to defend itself, Peres insisted, adding
that there was no need to detail how this should be done. “Every nation in the
world would do the same, because of the obligation of every nation to defend its
Peres paid tribute to the courage and stoicism of the
residents of the south, saying that they had displayed exemplary bravery and
He also sent condolences to the family of Moshe Ami of
Ashkelon, who had been struck by a rocket and killed.
Peres also wished a
speedy recovery to others hurt in the rocket attacks.
warned that continued terror attacks from Gaza would not enable the people of
Gaza to live a normal life, because there would always be the fear of Israeli
The writing is clearly on the wall, he said, as he reminded
the people of Gaza that in other parts of the Arab world, young people who are
seeking an end to oppression and poverty have led the revolts of the Arab
Hamas, he said, thrives on oppression internally and terror
Peres expressed confidence in the ability of the Israeli
government and the IDF to do what has to be done for the safety and security of
the southern settlements and the people who live in them.
that most Gazans, like most Israelis, have no desire for war, Peres warned that
rocket fire from Gaza is tantamount to a declaration of war.
extremists must not be permitted to endanger the peace for which we all yearn,”