ISRAEL: What the international media are saying

NEWS

The Brits Rally for Israel

Something Jewish (UK): Hundreds of pro-Israel supporters have countered an anti-Israel protest outside the Israeli embassy in west London on Thursday night following escalation of fighting in the Middle East as Israel defends itself against missiles from Gaza. Organised by the Zionist Federation and backed by Stand With Us, the support for Israel counters the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s demonstration against Israel outside the Kensington High Street embassy. In a statement, the ZF said: “The Zionist Federation will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in its fight against those who seek to destroy it. We will show Israels diplomats in the UK that there is always support against blind hatred of Israel.”

The Israeli military is back on target

Jake Wallis Simons in the Telegraph (UK): So William Hague has come out in support of Israel. Although he said that he was “gravely concerned”, and urged Israel “to do their utmost to reduce tension”, he made his views absolutely clear, stating that “Hamas bears principal responsibility for the current crisis”. The fact that the Foreign Secretary is able to support Israel so unequivocally at this stage indicates how effective and professional the Israeli military has so far been this time around. In Israel, relief at the death of Ahmed Jabari, who was responsible for shaping Hamas into an instrument of violence, is being tempered by the realisation that they may be in it for the long haul. Three Israelis have been killed by retaliatory rocket attacks, and the reservists have been called up. However, despite the fact that nobody likes war, there is good reason for Israelis to have buoyant morale, and Hague’s endorsement confirms this.

British envoy warns that Hamas rockets have to stop

The Jewish Chronicle (UK):  Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, returned today from a spontaneous visit to Kiryat Malachi, where three Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza, pledging solidarity with the people of southern Israel. Mr Gould, who visited the apartment building in which the Israelis died, said: “It was really grim and desperately upsetting. We talk about civilian casualties, but to go and see for oneself, to see a family destroyed – it puts a very different perspective on matters. “People should not have to live like that, having only 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. The rocket attacks have to stop”. The ambassador said it was very important to show solidarity with the people of the south of Israel. “My message is that I stand with these people. The situation is intolerable”. He added that he “bitterly regretted” civilian casualties on both sides.

Gaza: Here we go again

Pravda (Russia):  An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a terrorist attack for a terrorist attack. Sit back ladies and gentlemen for the next round of hypocrisy as Israel plays the victim card, forgetting the fact that it has stolen Palestinian lands, that it continues to bulldoze Palestinian homes, expel people from their lands and loots Palestinian resources. If your home is taken, what do you do? The underlying background to these conflicts is that, pure and simple, crystal clear and perfectly straightforward. The borders of Israel as drawn up by the UN back in 1948 were the recognised borders of the State of Israel under international law and it is within these borders that the State of Israel has the right to exist. What Israel has done since then is to systematically steal Palestinian lands, throw people out of their homes, take their farms, desecrate their cemeteries and force their people to live in ever-smaller residential areas, pockets looking like concentration camps separated from Israel by a Berlin Wall.

In Gaza, Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari got what he deserved

The National Post (Canada): It’s a rhetorical question that’s been asked many times before. But given Wednesday’s events in Gaza, it’s worth asking again: Can anyone name a country on the face of the planet that would regard recurrent rocket attacks on its territory as anything but an act of war? And since the obvious answer is no, why should Israel not be expected to fight back when Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups seek to murder Israelis in this fashion? Israel has endured thousands of unprovoked missile attacks since moving its troops and citizens out of Gaza in 2005, with the volleys typically coming in short bursts, followed by reprisals, informal truces, and several months of relative calm — at which point the cycle starts over again.

Militants spark panic in Tel Aviv as truce attempts fail

 The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia):  The rocket fired at Tel Aviv – believed to be an Iranian made and supplied Fajr-5 with a range of around 60 kiometres – fell into the sea just near the port of Jaffa to the south of the city, the IDF said. A second rocket landed in an open area near the neighbouring city of Rishon Le’Tzion, officials said, indicating a serious shift in Hamas tactics by aiming their attacks towards central Israel…  Associated Press has reported Israeli forces were moving toward the Gaza border, while the sight of at least two large Israeli tanks being transported on the back of trucks travelling south towards Gaza last night may provide further indication of Israel’s preparation for a land assault. After the deaths of Israelis Aharon Smajda, 49, Itzik Amsalem, 24, and Mirah Sharf, 27 – who was reportedly pregnant – Prime Minister Netanyahu accused Hamas of committing war crimes, “No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation. “This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defence Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza … to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.”

Turkey harshly condemns Israel’s operation against Gaza

Hürriyet Daily News (Turkey):  Turkey calls on the international community and the United Nations to launch the necessary initiatives against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, according to a written statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry late November 14. Turkey said Israel’s operation against Gaza was the latest example of the country’s hostile policies. “We harshly condemn Israel’s offensive and it must be stopped immediately,” the statement said, adding that no country, including Israel, was above international law.

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