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Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on Hamass television station, in Gaza City, November 12, 2018.(Photo by: AHMED ZAKOT / REUTERS)
Hamas rocket attack overshadows AIPAC conference
Maj.-Gen. (res) Amos Gilad told The Jerusalem Post that we are already in a new “round of violence.”
WASHINGTON – The festive atmosphere of the second day of the AIPAC Policy Conference was overshadowed by news of the rocket attack from Gaza Monday at dawn that struck Moshav Mishmeret. At the long lines for security checks outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the MKs, journalists and participants from across the US were all regularly checking their cellphone for updates.

Maj.-Gen. (res) Amos Gilad told The Jerusalem Post that we are already in a new “round of violence.”

“Hamas attacked Israel. They have all sorts of excuses. But they are in charge in Gaza, and Israel responses accordingly. We are already in the midst of escalation. We did not initiate it. We are responding, defending ourselves. We should wait and see the outcome of the [IDF] attacks. That looks serious,” he said.

Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Post that “It is obviously a concern. There were provocations that are not acceptable, and we have to learn more about it. I don’t know all the details yet.” When asked if he thinks that we’re getting closer to a military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, Engel replied: “I don’t know. I hope not. But I certainly understand that Israel needs to protect its people, and the United States has always been supportive of Israel, and will continue to do so.”

In a conversation at the sidelines of AIPAC confab, Engel also addressed the presidential decision to recognize Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“Israel has controlled the Golan Heights since the war in 1967,” he said. “I can’t think of anybody who seriously thinks that Israel should leave. Obviously, it is important to the security of Israel to continue to have a strong Israeli presence there. However they do it is fine with me. But I think that everyone realizes that given the situation in Syria, given the fact that there’s no real government there, given the fact that Assad is a murderer, no one thinks that the Golan Heights should return to Syria.”

Former secretary of cabinet and current Blue and White Knesset candidate Zvi Hauser told the Post that “In moments like this, the political debate is irrelevant. There’s a challenge to the state of Israel. The main challenge to the security is the missiles threat, both in the south and Israel’s north front. Therefore, we can’t live in a situation in which [the] Israeli citizen is the only one in the world that faces this threat on a daily basis.”
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