Iron Dome can intercept missiles but not diseases or pollution from Gaza

Southern Command head Zamir says Hamas growing closer to Iran and Hezbollah

March 7, 2018 01:07
2 minute read.

Iron Dome Can Intercept Missiles but not Diseases or Pollution From Gaza

Iron Dome Can Intercept Missiles but not Diseases or Pollution From Gaza


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

Former defense minister Amir Peretz warned of the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, saying that it is impossible for Israel to ignore.

“We are in a period of great uncertainty in the northern sector and any event can ignite a great conflagration,” Peretz said during his speech on Tuesday at the annual Sderot Conference for Society at Sapir Academic College.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“It is impossible to ignore the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Peretz continued, “The Iron Dome can intercept missiles, but not mosquitoes and diseases or pollution of the sea and the aquifers.”

While Israel is “not responsible for this problem,” he said, it will be affected by it.

Due to dwindling electricity supplies being unable to power the Strip’s wastewater treatment infrastructure, raw sewage from Gaza flows on a daily basis into Israel, both via the Mediterranean Sea and Nahal Hanun, which crosses the border on land. In July, the Health Ministry closed Zikim Beach, just north of the Strip, due to fecal contamination.

“It would be easier for Hamas to appear before the international community as a victim who protects a population in a humanitarian crisis and not as an aggressor who fires missiles at Israeli citizens.”

Peretz made the comments a day after the head of the Southern Command, Maj.- Gen. Eyal Zamir, said that Israel would only help alleviate the living conditions in the coastal enclave if the terrorist group returned the bodies of the two soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and the two civilians being held captive by Hamas.

“We have the utmost responsibility to bring back the captives and the IDF soldiers. The improvement of Gaza Strip residents’ situation is dependent upon this as well,” he said at the Sderot Conference.

“The society here [in Sderot] is independent and vibrant compared to the society several hundreds of meters from here, where the Hamas leadership is harming civil rights. Hamas is investing resources in terrorism and not in the welfare of its residents,” Zamir continued.

According to Zamir, Hamas is “exploiting” the civilian population’s anger and desperation by using the weekly protests along the security fence to carry out attacks against Israeli troops “in order to distract the attention of those civilians from [Hamas’s] many failures.”

The head of the Southern Command also reiterated the assessment by the defense establishment that Hamas is “playing a dangerous game by getting closer to the evil access of Iran and Hezbollah.”

While both Israel and Hamas have stated that they are not looking for conflict, the current fuel crisis to hit the Strip – residents having less than four hours of electricity daily – has led to concerns, including by senior IDF officers, that a war might break out if either side miscalculates the other side’s actions.

Hamas has previously provoked a confrontation with Israel to detract from internal issues and, in addition to a lack of fuel to supply residents with electricity, Gaza’s water utility company has warned that it does not have enough fuel to run water and sanitation facilities when the power is off.

Related Content

Israeli flag
August 16, 2018
Israelis emigrating? Lowest number in nearly three decades