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Israeli Envoy defends strike on Hamas

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Jul 4 (UNI) Israeli Ambassador to India David Danieli has urged CPI MPs to ''raise their voice'' against the 'terrorist acts' by Hamas and defended Tel Aviv's military action, saying Israel exercises its legitimate right to self-defence in a cautious and calculated manner.

In reply to the July one letter written by eleven Left MPs condemning the Israeli action, the Ambassador said ''I wish to bring to your attention that Hamas claims political privileges and immunities of an elected government without accepting the responsibilities that go with it.'' First and foremost among these responsibilities was to end terror and violence which had characterised its relations with Israel and also within the Palestinian arena for many years.

CPI MPs had urged Israel to immediately release all arrested Palestinian Ministers and MPs and withdraw its forces from Gaza.

In the letter to the Israeli Ambassador, the MPs said they were ''aghast'' at Tel Aviv's latest massive military offensive.

''It is obvious that the Israeli forces are bent upon destroying the elected government of Palestine. The arrests are a blatant violation of all international laws and norms,'' the CPI MPs said.

The Israeli Ambassador said in his reply that Israel had left Gaza hoping to create an opportunity to re-energise the peace process and provide residents ofGaza with the tools for progress and development along the route to their future independent state, living peacefully, side by side with the State of Israel.

''I would hope that your goodself and other distinguished MP's of the group have raised your voices and expressed your shock in the face of constant acts of cross border terrorism against the sovereign State of Israel emanating from within the ranks of Hamas since Israel left Gaza. In its response, Israel exercises its legitimate right to self-defence in a cautious and a calculated manner. You have certainly noted that no civilians were hurt in the ongoing operation, which was provoked by the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of the third one by the Hamas,'' he said.

The Ambassador said detained members of Hamas will be dealt with in accordance with criminal procedures at court, on the basis of the evidence of their involvement in terrorist activities.

''You will surely agree with me that public office cannot provide immunity to those who choose to engage in terrorism,'' the Ambassador added.

UNI RB RR ND1654

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