Thanks to fellow blogger Tundra Tabloids, Israeli Ambassador to Finland Avi Granot, has joined the blogosphere. This is his blog entry from December 29. The English version of his blog may be accessed directly by clicking here. The blog may also be read in Hebrew and Finnish.
In recent days the Hamas has decided to completely break the truce that existed and that was brokered by Egypt. Just last week, Hamas and its partners fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells at Israeli population centers in southern Israel. Following a period of maximum restraint on Israel’s part and an attempt to return to the calm, the situation mandated military action for the sake of defending our citizens and giving them a normal life. A quarter of a million Israeli citizens have been under incessant terror attacks from the Gaza Strip with thousands of missiles fired over the past eight years. No country in the world would be willing to accept this kind of onslaught on its citizens.
As the military action is intended to defend the residents of the State of Israel, its goal is to heavily strike the growing infrastructure of terror and the ability of the Hamas and its allied organizations to launch missiles and mortar shells at Israeli citizens and execute terror attacks of various kinds, such as kidnapping Israeli civilians. If Hamas would renounce the path of terror, there would be no need for this action.
The terrorist organization works out of the Palestinian population centers and cynically exploits them, so the responsibility for Palestinian civilians getting hurt rests on their shoulders. Israel for its part directs its activity at the terrorist elements and does its utmost to refrain from harming the innocent.
It should be noted that Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, to enable Palestinians to live their lives in peace alongside Israel. In the disengagement, Israel evacuated all its settlements and military bases, and 9,000 residents who lived in the area. But since then Hamas took control of the region and is subjecting Israeli citizens to rocket attacks inside sovereign Israeli territory, in flagrant violation of international law.
Israel does not want a humanitarian crisis. The Hamas authority in the Gaza Strip is the only cause of the suffering and distress of the population there and the deterioration in their situation. Just a few days ago, Hamas prevented humanitarian supplies from being brought in from Egypt to Gaza. For purposes of comparison: in the first months of the calm, 17,000 trucks entered Gaza, as opposed to 9,000 (almost double) in an identical time span before the truce. As we have stated repeatedly – quiet will be answered with quiet, but terror will elicit a response.