The situation in the Middle East is quickly escalating. Israel continues to be targeted by terrorists, with nearly 300 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza in the past few days. The latest casualties: 3 Israeli citizens killed when one of the rockets slammed into their apartment building. A young child was also critically wounded.
Now, rockets have struck in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I was on a conference call with one of our attorneys in Tel Aviv when a warning siren went off. This latest assault reflects a dangerous escalation of the attacks against Israel. This latest development raises significant concerns that the terrorists have now acquired longer-range missiles from Iran, putting many more Israelis at risk.
A day ago, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense, a coordinated campaign to target and take out terrorists who are attacking Israel. The IDF has hit nearly 200 targets in Gaza in the past 24 hours, including a car carrying a top Hamas official, who had been behind the Hamas attacks this week. Israel is not only under attack by terrorists who are launching rockets and mortars, our closest ally is now under attack for its decision to take action to defend itself and protect innocent Israeli civilians.
This from Egypt’s President Morsi: Israel’s action to defend itself, he said, is “unacceptable.” Morsi, who is backing the Palestinians, is now asking the United Nations for a special meeting to consider what he calls Israeli “aggression” against Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist group which is at the helm of Egypt’s new government, condemned Israel and said Egypt “will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression as in the past.” Hamas, which has vowed to destroy Israel, is now threatening retaliation against Israel after the top Hamas official was eliminated. Hamas calls the Israeli action a “real declaration of war.”
All of this is unfolding as the Palestinian Authority continues to push for special statehood recognition at the United Nations. Such a move is totally unacceptable. It would result in creating a nation hostile to Israel, with two terrorist groups, Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the helm.
This is why our support of Israel is so critical. And, this is why we have mobilized our legal teams – in Jerusalem, in New York, and in Washington, DC. This is the time to stand with Israel. This is the time to reject any suggestion that the Palestinians be granted special statehood recognition at the U.N. Nearly 70,000 Americans already have signed on to our petition to defend Israel and reject the creation of a terrorist-led state.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he hoped Hamas “got the message” and if they did not, he said Israel is “prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted the military campaign against Gaza-based terrorists could be a lengthy battle. “We’re in the middle of a struggle that’s not easy and probably won’t be short,” Barak said during a visit to the site of an Iron Dome battery in Beersheba.
Events are unfolding very quickly in the Middle East and it’s difficult to predict where this will lead. What we do know is this: Israel is under attack. Israel must defend itself. Israel must protect its citizens. And, our support for Israel must be unwavering. Especially now.