PM Netanyahu: "The international community must take a clear stand; it must hold Hamas accountable for consistently rejecting the ceasefire proposals and for starting and prolonging this conflict."
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
At the start of his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (Tuesday, 22 July 2014), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed him the remains of rockets that were recently launched at Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip, including a 122mm Grad rocket with a range of up to 20 kilometers and a second rocket with a range of up to 40 kilometers.
PM Netanyahu also showed the UN Secretary General incriminating aerial photographs attesting to the fact that Hamas is using the population as human shields, flyers that were distributed to Gaza residents requesting that they evacuate the place where they are so as to avoid injury, and a video clip in which IDF soldiers locate ready-for-use Grad rocket launchers on the grounds of an agricultural school in Beit Hanun.
(Communicated by the Defense Ministry International Media Advisor)
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, today (Tuesday, 22 July 2014), made the following remarks at the start of his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:
"Welcome Secretary General. You’re most welcome in our country Israel.
We very much appreciate your sincere intentions to put an end to the violence in the region.
As you know, we are engaged now in the 15th day of Operation Protective Edge which was actually initiated by Hamas, its provocations of rocket launches on our civilians and it has been deteriorated and now we are trying to stop it by all means – to stop the violence. Unfortunately we have here in the Gaza Strip a terror entity led by Hamas with other terror factions, violating international law and order and international law, by using rockets and all kinds of terror targeting deliberately our civilians and using their own civilians as human shield. This is a challenge for us, myself as the Defense Minister and the Israel Defense Forces how to confront and stop this kind of terror.
We do our utmost to avoid civilian casualties, but it is almost impossible in this populated area in Gaza which is used by Hamas as a launching pad for rockets and of course as a base for the terror offensive.
We will show you later on all kinds of tools used by Hamas; how they launch rockets from schools, mosques, neighborhoods and so forth, and the way that they use now underground tunnels trying to attack our civilians and communities around the Gaza Strip, which is a relatively new challenge, which we have to stop as well.
I hope in this visit you will have a better understanding of the challenges ahead of us. Israel is a democracy and a member of the United Nations and we look forward to the international support in the way that we believe that this threat should be confronted. We are ready and determined to continue this operation until we stop this wave of violence against our civilians.