December 11, 2023

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"Israel Will Respond On Its Terms, At Its Own Pace": Top Official

'Israel Will Respond On Its Terms, At Its Own Pace': Top Official

New Delhi: Ambassador of Israel to India Naor Gilon on Saturday asserted that Iran is supporting the Hamas attack on Israel and supplying the group with ammunition.

He emphasised that the terrorists behind these actions will face “grave consequences” and Israel will respond on its terms, at its own pace, and in the manner it deems appropriate.

“It’s clear to us that Iran is involved with it. We know for sure about supplying of weapons training and I will not exclude even organizing or helping organize this specific attack. There is an attempt now to heat the northern border in order to take the attention of Israel. It’s places where Indian uniform soldiers are there, he said during a press conference emphasizing that Israel would not rule out the possibility of Iran assisting the terror group in the specific attack.

“The terrorists are going to pay a very big price. We will act at our pace, in our choosing, the way we want it,” Gilon said while issuing threat to Hamas.

Addressing a media presser, the Israeli envoy also highlighted that Hamas is using civilian populations as shields and claimed that Hamas is holding Israeli hostages to portray themselves as victims.

Gilon said, “We know Hamas from the past, the next thing, they will start hiding behind the civilian population. Now they have also Israeli hostages to hide behind and to present themselves as the victim. This is always the issue.”

Regarding the situation in Gaza, Gilon acknowledged the challenge posed by the presence of civilian hostages but expressed confidence in Israel’s ability to manage it. He mentioned Israel’s defense systems like the Iron Dome and safe room protocols that help minimize casualties from missile and rocket attacks.

He said further, “The only thing that we have here is that we have human civilian hostages in Gaza, which will be complicated of course. But apart from that, I think that we are stabilized. There are rockets that are coming, but we know how to deal. We have Iron Dome and we have our procedures of safe rooms. If we keep all these, we are usually able to minimize close to zero the number of casualties from the missiles and the rockets and now we are freer to take what we need to do in order to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Referring to the recent Hamas attack on Israeli civilians, Gilon conveyed that the assailants had carried out killings and abductions, including those of children and women.

“They (Hamas) murdered, hijacked, children, women, elderly. The numbers that we are so far counting, and they will increase. We don’t know of Indian foreign nationals so far; we didn’t get any information about such. There are more than 1800 wounded.

He went on to mention the support that he got from India including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that India understands the terrorism while terming India as a very influential country in the world.

He added, “We will need this very strong support of our Indian friends and India as a very influential country in the world, as a country that knows terrorism and understands the crisis, it will be very important for us to give us the ability to do what we need to do in order to make sure that Hamas will not be able to continue doing atrocities.”

Regarding the outcome of the conflict, Gilon expressed confidence in Israel’s victory against Hamas, stating that it is the only option against Hamas.

Gilon further added, “It’s not that it’s easy to beat us and you know why we will prevail. We will prevail because we have no other option. I mean the Jews all over the centuries suffered persecution and killing in many, many countries, not in India, of course, and once we have our own country, we had many, many wars and many, many challenges. We always prevailed and we prevailed because we have no alternative.”

Over 400 people lost their lives and still counting after Hamas launched an attack on Israel near the Gaza Strip, Times of Israel reported on Sunday.

Among the dead, dozens of soldiers and police were killed in the attack.

Additionally, the Israel-based media outlet claimed that over 2,048 wounded in the deadliest attack are being treated in hospitals, including 20 in critical condition and 330 seriously wounded.

More than 24 hours after Hamas launched rocket attacks followed by an unprecedented ground assault, firefights between forces and terrorists were ongoing in Kfar Aza, close to the Gaza border. The IDF was attempting to neutralise all terrorists still present, The Times of Israel reported.

In a major escalation on Saturday, Hamas launched a “surprise attack” on Israel, firing a barrage of rockets into the southern and central parts of the country.

Several Israelis were taken as hostages in Gaza, the Times of Israel reported citing officials.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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