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PM Warns Israel Has 'Legal, Moral Right' to Defend Its Civilians

PM Netanyahu issued a blunt warning Monday to the International Red Cross, saying Israel will attack any nation that fires at its civilians.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/1/2013, 6:07 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a blunt warning Monday to the International Committee of the Red Cross, saying Israel has a "legal and moral right" to attack any nation that fires at its civilians.

Speaking with ICRC President Peter Mauer at a meeting in Jerusalem, the prime minister pointed out that Arab terrorists both to Israel’s north and south use civilians as human shields, a crime against humanity.

“Hizbullah terrorists are perpetrating war crimes in Syria and slaughtering innocent Syrian civilians even as it continues to stockpile tens of thousands of rockets, concentrated in residential buildings and aimed at Israeli civilians,” he said.

“Israel will continue to honor international law but will not sit idly by while terrorists perpetrate two war crimes simultaneously - firing at Israeli cities and hiding behind civilians in Lebanon or Gaza.

“It is our full legal and moral right to attack, with fire that is as precise as possible, those who fire indiscriminately at our civilians,” the prime minister said. 

“Responsibility for inadvertent strikes that are liable to be caused to civilians in Lebanon or the Gaza Strip is on the shoulders of Hizbullah and Hamas,” the prime minister said.

He added that Israel is interested in peace with the Palestinian Authority, [but] “to advance it the sides must sit and talk.”