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#IsraelUnderAttack: Facts From ADL National Director, Abraham Foxman

  • July 15, 2014

Click to hear more from ADL National Director, Abraham Foxman

Misinformation about Israel is widespread, fanning deep-seated bigotry and hatred. It’s important for each of us to counter false messages and disseminate the facts about the situation in Israel.

  • In the past week, over 840 missiles, rockets and mortars fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza have hit a number of Israeli cities and towns, including Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon, and even as far north as Haifa, a distance of over 85 miles from Gaza. There were reports of injuries, some quite serious, from rocket explosions, as well as damage to homes and other structures.
  • Two-thirds of Israel’s civilian population (equal to 200 million Americans) – Jews, Muslims, Christians and others – are now directly threatened by missiles from Gaza. The Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted nearly 200 additional projectiles, including missiles fired at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • In response, on July 7, Israel launched a military operation, codenamed “Operation Protective Edge,” targeting Hamas and other terrorist leaders. Thus far, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has targeted approximately 1500 terrorist targets in Gaza, which, according to the IDF, include: “long-range rocket launchers, Hamas leadership facilities, terror and smuggling tunnels, fuel-smuggling tunnels, compounds and training sites, communications facilities, air defense elements, concealed launchers, and additional sites used for terror activities targeting Israel, including command and control centers.” The Israeli government has also authorized the calling-up of over 40,000 IDF reserve soldiers, and is reportedly considering a ground operation if needed.
  • On July 15, the Israeli government voted to accept an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire, which was supported by the US, the Arab League and others in the international community. As a gesture to Hamas, Israel halted air-strikes in Gaza for a few hours. Hamas in turn rejected the terms of the ceasefire, and continued to bombard Israel with at least 50 rockets during that period.
  • Israel has a right and a responsibility to protect its civilians from attack. The IDF has shown the utmost restraint in dealing with Hamas’s blatant hostility, and tried to stop the attacks through a variety of measures. Israel has procedures to warn Gaza’s residents, though leafleting and phone calls, that their neighborhoods and buildings are located in the vicinity of military operations, urging them to leave the area. In response, Hamas has instructed Gazans to ignore “Israeli propaganda” warnings and stay in their homes.
  • Many of Hamas’s rocket storage sites are deliberately located in densely populated areas, including private homes, mosques and medical facilities. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed up Hamas’s strategy with the following quote: “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.”
  • Israel fully redeployed from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, uprooting Israeli settlers and removing military installations, in the hope that the Palestinians would govern Gaza responsibly and peacefully. Instead, the Hamas leadership has turned Gaza into an armed camp, creating and maintaining the conditions for a humanitarian crisis, and forcing the isolation of the Gazan population.
  • The ongoing attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza have made absolutely clear the absurdity of the international community’s embrace and support of the unity agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The time is now for the United States and other countries to pull their support of that agreement.