Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that 6 million Israelis, 75 percent of Israel’s population, are currently living under the threat of Gaza rocket attacks, as Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, aimed at ending the assault, continues.
“We have 6 million Israelis over the last two days… who have had to run into bomb shelters in Israel,” Dermer said. “You could imagine what the American people would demand their government to do if two thirds to three quarters of the population of the country had to run into bomb shelters.”
His comments were made in an appearance on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. He also said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “will do what he has to do in order to end the rocket attacks against Israel.”
When Tapper pointed out that children have been killed in Israel’s strikes against Gaza-based terror group Hamas, Dermer clarified that innocent civilians have not been not targeted, which he said makes for a “big moral difference” between Israel and the terror group.
“Hamas deliberately targets our civilians, they fire at our civilians, they hope to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible, that’s what they will deem a success of their operation. What are we doing? We are actually targeting the terrorists,” Dermer said. “The vast majority of the people who are killed are not innocent civilians they are actually terrorists. Unfortunately, in taking action to defend ourselves, there are innocents who’ve been killed and that’s a tragedy, but we are not the same as Hamas. We are not targeting their civilians.”
“Hamas’ plan is to kill Jews and destroy the state of Israel, that’s their plan,” he added.
Dermer also told Tapper that Hamas uses Gaza’s civilian population as “human shields” by placing missile batteries near densely populated areas, such as schools, hospitals and mosques. He reiterated statements Netanyahu made in a YouTube video posted online on Wednesday asserting that the terrorist group is “deliberately putting Palestinian civilians in harms way.”
The Israeli Air Force dropped over 500 tons of explosives in the Gaza Strip over the first two days of its offensive, Tapper noted. So far on Thursday, more than 100 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israel, the IDF said.
“We don’t have a five point ceasefire plan, we have a one point; stop rocket attacks against Israel, it’s very simple,” Dermer told Tapper.
Netanyahu told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Thursday that a cease-fire with Hamas was not on his government’s agenda.