NEW YORK - In response to the Israeli Defense Forces’ ground operation to destroy the network of tunnels used by terrorists in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate Israel, the Rabbinical Assembly issued the following statement.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President, said:
The Rabbinical Assembly fully supports the Israeli government and the IDF as they take this step to defend Israeli citizens from those who seek to murder them. During the past few days terrorists have made multiple attempts to infiltrate Israel and harm civilians, including thirteen men whose attempted attack on a kibbutz this morning was thankfully thwarted. Such threats are an intolerable danger to Israeli security and one which must be dealt with accordingly. We condemn Hamas for their participation in recent attacks, their refusal of the Egyptian ceasefire proposed earlier this week, and their continued attacks during a brief humanitarian ceasefire earlier today. As the Egyptian Foreign Minister has noted, Hamas could have saved dozens of lives by agreeing to lay down their weapons and pursue peace. The fact that they have chosen not to do so on multiple occasions speaks to the necessity of Israel’s actions.
Rabbi William Gershon, President, added:
We applaud IDF’s effort through the course of Operation Defensive Edge to uphold moral and professional standards, including giving warnings to civilians before bombing military targets and agreeing to multiple ceasefires, agreements that were not reciprocated by various Gazan factions. We remain grateful to the United States for their continued funding of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which has protected countless Israelis from missiles aimed at densely populated regions. We hope that this expanded operation achieves its goal quickly and with minimal casualties on both sides, and pray that the dismantling of Gazan terror networks will help bring peace as soon as possible.