Sir, – Ilan Baruch's attempt to portray violent rioters and terrorists as peaceful protesters is concerning ("Europe must intervene to stop the Gaza shootings", Opinion & Analysis, April 26th).
Mr Baruch clearly chooses to ignore the fact that over the last few weeks, thousands of Palestinian rioters have massed at the Gaza border fence, attacking the security infrastructure and attempting to breach the border, in order to unleash terror and violence on the people of Israel. Tunnels have been discovered beneath the border where terrorists have been planning to launch attacks in villages and towns in Israel. It is simply false to claim that these rioters and terrorists pose no danger to Israeli citizens, when all of these violent events have been orchestrated by Hamas in order to create death and destruction.
Since Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has continued to expend all their efforts to initiating and financing terror attacks against Israel, instead of actually caring for the welfare of the Gazan population. It has forsaken its own people in its quest to destroy Israel.
In recent days, leaflets have been repeatedly dropped in Gaza neighbourhoods by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) warning civilians not to approach the border fence. Meanwhile, Hamas encourages people to be human shields by offering rewards of payment depending on the injuries you sustain in these riots. If you are killed, Hamas will give your family a bonus payment. We have seen the sick and cynical exploitation of children when senior Hamas figures come to the border fence to incite violence, while holding small children, putting them in extreme danger in order to try to gain a propaganda victory against Israel. Hamas has already spent $10 million financing these premeditated provocations at the border.
The allegation that the IDF has a “shoot to kill” policy is an outrageous slur against a moral army, who have no desire to see innocent Palestinian civilians injured or killed. We will not, however, allow the security infrastructure to be breached and will act to fulfil our duty to protect the civilians and sovereignty of the state of Israel. An investigation has found that 80 per cent of the Palestinians that have been killed in this escalation are terrorist operatives or individuals affiliated with them. No country in the world would permit thousands of violent rioters to amass on a border, without taking action to protect its civilians and defend its borders.
Perhaps the only truth contained in Mr Baruch’s article is his query as to where the international community are in all of this? We too wonder why the international community has not acted to condemn the violent attacks by Hamas and to urge the Palestinian Authority to use the funds it receives from international donors to better the lives of Palestinians, rather than using the money to glorify terrorists. – Yours, etc,
Ambassador of Israel,
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Sir, – I have just now posted a copy of Ilan Baruch’s article to the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge. As Israel’s former ambassador to South Africa, his accusations of “inconceivable brutality” are not to be dismissed. – Yours, etc,
Rosscarbery, Co Cork.