Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: "goal of the operation – the restoration of quiet
for a long period while inflicting a significant blow on Hama and the other
terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip."
This represents a dramatic change in the goal of the operation from "the
restoration of quiet for a long period."]
PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Sunday, 13 July 2014), made the
following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:
"Israel is conducting a vigorous military campaign against Hamas, Islamic
Jihad and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has
chosen to attack our cities with massive and indiscriminate rocket fire. I
said from the outset that we would respond in strength against this criminal
firing at our citizens and this is what we are doing.
We are striking Hamas with increasing strength. We are hitting commanders,
militants, arsenals and command centers. The IDF, ISA, security services,
firefighters, the Israel Police – everyone is doing their part and doing s
in the best way possible. But one must understand how our enemy operates.
Who hides in mosques? Hamas. Who puts arsenals under hospitals? Hamas. Who
puts command centers in residences or near kindergartens? Hamas. Hamas is
using the residents of Gaza as human shields and it is bringing disaster to
the civilians of Gaza; therefore, for any attack on Gaza civilians, which we
regret, Hamas and its partners bear sole responsibility.
The leadership of Hamas and the other organizations has chosen – at a time
when they are using the population of Gaza as human shields – to hide under
ground, to flee abroad and to deliberately put civilians in the line of
fire. This is the entire difference between us and Hamas – we are using
defensive systems against missiles to protect the residents of Israel and
they are using the residents of Gaza to protect arsenals of missiles.
Nothing better underscores the difference in this campaign. Israel is a
democracy that is fighting – in a legitimate and focused manner – against
unbridles terrorists and no country in the world would do any less than we
are doing to protect our citizens.
We will continue to act in a patient and level-headed manner, with
responsibility, and vigorously in order to achieve the goal of the
operation – the restoration of quiet for a long period while inflicting a
significant blow on Hama and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza
Strip. The IDF is prepared for all possibilities.
Now, two other points. First, to the citizens of Israel: You are showing
maturity and responsibility and I think that you are impressing the entire
world. But I have one request: Do not be complacent. I know that there are
people who are going out and who want to see the missiles. I ask you: Do not
do this. I ask that you enter protected spaces. We are speaking here from a
protected space. We ask you to be in protected spaces and to listen to
instructions from IDF Home Front Command. Someone rightly said that that
regarding civil defense, one needs not only an Iron Dome but iron discipline
as well. You have shown this up until now. This could yet take a long time
and we need both your support and your discipline.
The last point: Today in Vienna, the foreign ministers of the major powers
are discussing the question of dealing with Iran's nuclear program. I would
like to remind them Hamas and Islamic Jihad are being financed, armed and
trained by Iran. Iran is a major power of terrorism that finances, arms and
trains the terrorist organizations that we are fighting against. This Iran
cannot be allowed the ability to produce fissile material for nuclear
weapons. If this happens, the things that we are seeing around us and the
things that are happening in the Middle East will be far worse. In recent
years we have made various forecasts for the Middle East – me and my
colleagues here around the table – and these forecasts have, to my regret,
come true one by one. The prediction of Iran as a nuclear threshold state
cannot be allowed to come true, it cannot. This cannot be and it will not