Members of the Italian Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Committee visited the Knesset on Monday as guests of Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. The Knesset speaker told the Italian MPs that the ”terror tunnels” dug by Hamas prove that the cement which had been transferred to Gaza was not used to build schools or kindergartens. ”When the conflict ends, when we will no longer be under fire, we will have to make certain – as will the international community – that any equipment transferred to Gaza will in fact be used to achieve the humanitarian purposes for which it is intended,” Edelstein said during the meeting with the Italian lawmakers.

”It is obvious that in Gaza there are people who are suffering, and it is important that they receive food, medicine, diapers and everything else. But I certainly feel, sadly, that the civilians who have been hurt in Gaza are victims of Hamas, which used them as a human shield in offensive operations against Israel,” said the speaker.

The head of the Italian delegation, MP Fabrizio Cicchitto, said ”it is clear that the situation in Gaza has deteriorated since Hamas seized power there with the use of force. What complicates the situation is the fact that Hamas conducts its military activity against Israel from within civilian population centers. Israel could not have ignored the firing of rockets and the threat of the tunnels, but harming the civilian population, despite Israel`s efforts to avoid it, created a negative effect in the media.”

”We are trying to cause the US and the European community to understand that we may all be exposed to threats of terror, just as Israel is,” Cicchitto continued. ”We are trying to build a system that will isolate the Hamas regime in the international arena and give Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) a significant role in the current situation, which cannot be resolved through military means alone; it also requires a diplomatic path.”