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Friday, November 16, 2012

AJC Welcomes Growing International Criticism of Hamas

 By Susan Duclos

AJC Welcomes Growing International Criticism of Hamas

NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Hamas continuing to escalate the number and reach of its rocket attacks on Israel, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) called on more governments to speak out against the Gaza leadership and express support for Israel's sovereign right to defend itself. The seemingly limitless supply of rockets continue to land indiscriminately and frequently in Israel, reaching as far as the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.

"A number of important countries have openly recognized that Hamas, a jihadist group aided by such countries as Iran and Sudan, is the culprit, and that its behavior threatens a wider conflagration," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "No doubt Israeli casualties could be much higher if innocents of all ages were not heading to bomb shelters."

In addition to strong U.S. and Canadian support for Israel's right to defend and protect its citizens from Hamas, other governments, including Australia, Germany and Great Britain, have spoken out clearly to name the aggressor—Hamas.

''Australia supports Israel's right to defend itself against these indiscriminate attacks. Such attacks on Israel's civilian population are utterly unacceptable,'' said Prime Minister Julia Gillard. "The government condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and calls on Hamas to cease these immediately."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "Hamas in Gaza is responsible for the outbreak of violence," and that the Israeli government has the "right and obligation" to protect its population.

"Hamas bears the principal responsibility for the crisis," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups," adding that such attacks create "an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted last night a resolution supporting Israel's "inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism."

AJC's Harris welcomed these powerful statements of support for Israel, and urged other UN member states to join in the growing condemnation of Hamas. "Israel has exhibited enormous restraint in dealing with Hamas rocket attacks for years, but the situation has become intolerable. Israel is doing exactly what any other country would do right now—taking the measures necessary to defend its citizens against deadly acts of terror."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee