President’s Statement on the situation in Gaza

The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region has been greatly concerned in recent months about the escalation in the number and frequency of continual rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

These attacks have indiscriminately targeted Israel’s civilian population in its southern towns and cities with the firing of hundreds of missiles over the last few weeks alone.

More than 800 missiles have been fired at Israeli civilians since the start of 2012.

It is only due to defensive and preventative measures undertaken by the Israeli Government over the past 4 years such as the provision of shelters and the deployment of the Iron Dome that the casualty rate and damage done has been so relatively low up to now.

Israel has, like any other country, a duty and right to defend its citizens. In an effort to discourage and prevent these attacks from Gaza, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense yesterday afternoon.

Since then, further surgical strikes have been carried out across Gaza, targeting missile sites including those housing Iranian Fajr missiles which are capable of reaching Tel Aviv and are doing so right now.

Israeli airstrikes are targeted and surgical; they have focused on missile sites which contain Iranian, Libyan and Sudanese weaponry capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Beersheva and other areas with large population concentrations .

Israel has a right and duty to protect its citizens. More than 1,700,000 Israeli civilians have been forced to live within seconds of bomb shelters, disrupting every aspect of daily life.

We must wait to see how the situation develops but, whilst we are concerned at any loss of life and wish to see a peaceful resolution to this problem, the JRC supports Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens.

Frank Baigel – President