Question: Is Israel's military operation in Gaza justified?
Answer: In the ten months following Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Palestinians in Gaza have fired over 500 rockets into Israel's southern towns and cities. Then on June 25, 2006, Palestinian terrorists crossed the border into Israel and ambushed Israeli soldiers, killing two (Lt. Hanan Barak, 20, of Arad and Staff-Sgt. Pavel Slutzker, 20, of Dimona) and kidnapping one (Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, of Mitzpe Hila).
In response to the deteriorating security situation and to ensure the safety of its citizens, Israeli forces entered the Gaza Strip. The goals of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the release of Gilad Shalit and the cessation of the firing of Kassam rockets into Israel.
Israel's Military Goals in Gaza:
- Striking at Hamas, with emphasis on striking at institutions and infrastructures that serve terrorism;
- Continuing and increasing counter-terrorist actions, including those aimed at Kassam cells;
- Reducing terrorists' freedom of movement by continuing to section off the Gaza Strip and striking at infrastructures that serve terrorism;
- Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will continue to apply diplomatic pressure, via the international community, on the Syrian leadership in order to bring about the release of Cpl. Shalit;
- Avoiding - as much as possible - harming the civilian population that is not involved in terrorism;
- Responding comprehensively and immediately to all humanitarian needs.
Israel's Foreign Ministry Director General, Aaron Abramovich, says Israel is working to help meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza and is committed to working with the international donor community and the humanitarian relief organizations to that end. "Despite the complex context that the ongoing Palestinian terror places us in, we do not want to see the Palestinian people suffering and we do not want the relief organizations to lack for anything in their work", remarked the Director General.
- Passage of food and fuel into the Gaza Strip
- Transfer of basic food and medical supplies into the Gaza Strip
- IDF warns Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza Strip
Israel's position is that there will be no negotiations on a release of prisoners in exchange for any abducted Israelis. Such negotiations would encourage more kidnappings.More Judaism Q&A