Mercaz Special Edition Cable: Operation Protective Edge: August 11, 2014

Israel and Israelis yearn for the day they can live in peace and quiet, side-by-side with their Palestinian neighbors. Israel yearns for the day its children don't have to sleep in bomb shelters. Israel yearns for the day its citizens in the south can sleep peacefully, without fear
terrorists will use cross border tunnels to kidnap and murder them. 

We are not fighting the people of Gaza and we are not fighting Islam. We are fighting Hamas, a brutal terror organization committed to Israel's destruction which both fires on our civilians and hides behind their own civilians. Israelis and Palestinians deserve peace and security, free
from terror and violence.

Israel is committed to ending the current round of violence. The goal of Operation Protective Edge was and remains to protect Israeli civilians and achieve sustained quiet in Israel. We are steadfast in our commitment to achieve these objectives, whether militarily or diplomatically. Israel is ready to take any action in order to fulfill the mission. 

Hamas' Grotesque Use of Human Shields

Hamas adopted a strategy that abuses and sacrifices Gaza's civilians. Hamas hides behind Palestinian civilians, mosques, churcheshospitals, hotelsUN facilities and UNRWA schools while indiscriminately firing at Israeli civilians. This is a double war crime. 

Hamas' war crimes and violations of basic morality should be widely condemned by all persons of conscience. The world should be outraged by Hamas' use of human shields in Gaza. What is at stake here is not merely Israel's ability and legitimate right of self-defense; it's the ability
of all civilized countries and all democracies to defend themselves because this test case is not only about Israel. The issue here is not merely Israel's right of self-defense, but the right of self-defense of all civilized countries against this barbarism.

The international community must hold Hamas responsible for preventing humanitarian relief from reaching the people of Gaza and for using its own people as pawns and human shields.  Hamas must be held accountable for the tragic loss of life. It must be ostracized from the family of nations for its callous abuse of civilians.

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Israel's Efforts to Avoid Civilian Casualties

The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas and terrorist organizations trying to kill and endanger our people. Israel does not target civilians nor UN facilities, and deeply regrets every civilian casualty in Gaza. Israel has gone to unprecedented lengths to keep
Palestinian civilians out of harm's way,  including multiple warnings (leaflets, calls and texts) and aborting missions when civilians were recognized nearby. These are in addition to our repeated efforts to bring an end to the current conflict, acceding to more than ten cease-fires.

Goods & Assistance to Palestinians in Gaza

The border crossings through which goods travel from Israel to Gaza remain open and hundreds of tons of food, medicine, and goods are being delivered to Gazan residents. The IDF
opened a field hospital near Erez crossing and we are working with the Red Crescent in order to treat wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. Israelis engineers are currently working to fix the damage caused by Hamas rockets to the power lines, which supply power to Gaza. We are prepared to provide still more funding and support.