Shooting between Israel and the Palestinian territories continues. Hamas’s terrorists are firing on Israel, the Israel Defence Forces are fighting back, and civilians on both sides are suffering. The reason for the number of casualties being higher on the Palestinian side is that the Islamic terrorist hide among the civilians, launch their rockets that are supposed to hit Israel from their hiding places – sometimes, due to their own incompetence, the rockets even hit Gaza – and after that, they flee the scene, which means that the civilians are the ones getting hurt when the Israelis retaliate.
Israeli Ambassador Eyal Sela was a guest on the show Tema dneva (Topic of the day) on the 18th of May 2021. Just days ago, he gave an extensive interview to RTV Slovenia, and at the end, only a thirty-second excerpt was actually broadcast. On Nova24TV, Sela talked with the host of the show Luka Svetina about the situation in Israel, the Hamas terrorists, and their targets.
Sela said that two wars are currently being fought in Israel, the larger one against the terrorist organisation Hamas and the smaller one against the terrorist organisation called the Palestinian-Islamic Jihad. “They began to launch missiles against the Israeli civilian population. We have the right to defend ourselves, like any other country would, and will continue to do so.”
The Israeli Ambassador to Slovenia said that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) is trying to only target the infrastructure of the terrorist organisation. They are attacking their tunnels, equipment, the terrorist who are launching the missiles, and the banks that finance them. According to Sela, this is a defensive operation against Islamic terrorists.
The terrorists only know how to destroy; they are doing nothing to help Gaza develop
“For the terrorist organisation, it does not matter if we are in the middle of a pandemic. Instead of using the money and buying the vaccination for the people, instead of using the money to make the lives of poor people in Gaza better, instead of making Gaza into Singapore, they made Gaza Afghanistan,” Sela was critical. He also pointed out that Gaza had beautiful beaches, has rich deposits of natural gas, but the terrorist organisation is not doing anything to help develop the area. All they know is how to destroy. “This organisation is not only anti-Israeli; it is also anti-Christian, it is also anti-LGBT, it is anti-liberal, it stands against all the values that we stand for,” said the Israeli Ambassador. How little the Hamas terrorist value even the lives of “their own” Palestinians is shown by the fact that many of the rockets fired by terrorists at Israel actually hit the Gaza Strip.
Peace will come when the Palestinians are ready to talk
As the Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld pointed out as early as 2014 already, Israel is facing a war of attrition upon entering Gaza. This is a war that Israel cannot win with a conventional approach. They are fighting guerrilla fighters, who will gladly use civilians as their human shields. In some cases, civilians are even honoured if they decide to serve as the human shield for the Hamas terrorists. Sela cited an example of when the Al-Jazeera and the AP newsrooms had their premises in the same building where the Hamas intelligence headquarters were located. In such cases, the IDF informs and urges civilians to leave the premises, but at the same time, it also means that the terrorists have enough time to escape.
“When our pilots see that there are innocent civilians or even children near the target, they do not bomb the targets but withdraw. I do not think there is an army anywhere else in the world that would do what Israel did.” Sela emphasised once again that they were only attacking the terrorist infrastructure, terrorist leaders, and the terrorists themselves.
Regarding the political situation itself, Sela regrets that Palestine never agreed to any peace agreement for the region. “Not in 1947, not in 1967, they said no to Clinton’s programme, they said no to negotiations with our government.” Sela said that Israel is always ready to talk, but peace will only come when the Palestinians are ready to talk. However, it seems that this will not happen any time soon, as the missiles fired by the Hamas terrorists at Israel are funded by Iran. “Iran gave them the money; Iran gave them the technology. Iran is the main problem of the Middle East.”
Censorship on RTV Slovenia
Regarding his statement for RTV Slovenia being cut short, Sela said that the interview lasted for about two minutes, of which RTV Slovenia only broadcast a half-minute clip. Sela left the editorial decisions to RTV Slovenia; however, he just wants to get a chance to describe the whole situation to Slovenians and explain it, just like he was given the opportunity to do that on Nova24TV.
Sela also said that Israel and Slovenia have always had good relations; for example, Israel also supported Slovenian independence. Sela has been the Ambassador to Slovenia for the last four years, and “at the moment,” Sela said, “we have the best bilateral relations. The change that caused this was the visit of Prime Minister Janez Janša to Israel in December.”