SA Jewry calls on government to condemn rocket attacks on Israel

SAJBD and SAZF condemn the attacks on Israel. 

Johannesburg, 6 May 2019: Yet again, the people of Israel and Gaza are mourning their dead following another unprovoked wave of deadly attacks by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Over 600 missiles have been fired at Israel, striking homes, schools, kindergartens, synagogues and a hospital. Four Israeli civilians have been killed and many more injured. 

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and SA Zionist Federation (SAZF) deplore and condemn these latest acts of murderous violence against the Israeli people. Ever since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas and other extremist groupings seeking Israel’s destruction have used it as a base from which to continually bombard Israeli towns. So long as this persists, all efforts towards achieving peaceful co-existence between the two peoples are doomed to failure.

Typically, Hamas chose to carry out its attacks from densely-populated civilian areas, using hospitals, schools and other ‘neutral’ installations as launching pads for rockets and storehouses for weaponry. This use of civilians as human shields is a flagrant contravention of international law. It makes Hamas guilty not only for Israeli deaths and injuries, but also for the inevitable casualties suffered by its own people. The time has come to lay the blame for the ongoing suffering and destruction at the door of those truly responsible. So long as Hamas and its accomplices are rewarded with propaganda victories every time they instigate conflict, they will persist in this perverted policy.

Unlike Hamas, Israel tries to avoid harming civilians. Ultimately, however, its primary responsibility is to protect its own citizens. No sovereign nation can reasonably be expected not to respond when subjected to a barrage of hundreds of deadly missiles, each of which has the power to wreak havoc and take many lives and which target major population centres.

The SAJBD and SAZF commend those responsible for brokering a ceasefire, especially the government of Egypt, and urge all parties to strictly abide by its terms. We further call on our government to unequivocally condemn rocket attacks on Israel. In order for our country to be true role players on the world stage, government needs to speak out clearly in situations when such blatant acts of aggression are perpetrated, whether by the Palestinians or anyone else.

The SAJBD and SAZF extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the recovery of the victims.

For more information please contact Charisse Zeifert on 082 427 2788 / Charisse@sajbd.org.

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Issued by the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and South African Zionist Federation

6 May 2019