Casualties of war in Gaza
Casualties of war in Gaza Israel News Photo: Flash 90

President Shimon Peres said in a statement released to the media Sunday that it is time for the world to understand that Israel has been more than patient in waiting for the people of Gaza to come to their senses.

Detailing all the agony and subsequent fallout of the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, Peres said, "The story is simple. Israel has left Gaza completely… The passages were open. Money was sent to Gaza. We suggested aid in many ways – economically, medically and otherwise… Still I have not heard until now a single person who could explain to us reasonably: why are they firing rockets against Israel?"

He added that in planning the current Operation Cast Lead, the IDF had been "true to its principles: namely, to be precise in its targets and careful not to hit civilian life."

He noted that this was a complex problem, because many of the bombs were stored in private houses.  "We have contacted the owners of the houses, the people that dwell there, and told them leave it. You can't live with bombs. We have to bring an end to the source of the bombs."

Peres added that Israel has no intention of returning to Gaza. "We left out of our free choice. We have never gone back to the idea of returning to Gaza. It's over," he said. "But we cannot permit that Gaza will become a permanent base of threatening and even killing children and innocent people in Israel for G-d knows why."

The bottom line, he said bluntly, is that anyone in the world who now wishes to ask Israel to stop the shooting, "they have to change the address. Let them turn to Hamas and ask them to stop shooting, and there won't be shooting."

Hamas Admits Majority of Casualties are Military Fighters

The Hamas terrorist organization admitted Sunday morning that the majority of casualties sustained in attacks by the IDF on Saturday were fighters from its military ranks.

According to the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a news ticker running repeatedly from 10:00 a.m. announced, "More than 180 Palestinian policemen were killed, including the [Police] Commander, General Tawfik Jaber."

The news ticker is reportedly being broadcast against a background of scenes from the destruction of a graduation ceremony from a Hamas officer's course that was taking place when the IAF attacked. 

Dozens of bodies of the uniformed Hamas "soldiers" who were killed in the air strike are shown in the broadcast, according to the report.