Letters to the Editor

Understanding facts on the ground in Israel and Gaza

On Nov. 14 — in response to an

escalation of rocket attacks from Gaza — the Israeli Defense Forces initiated Operation Pillar of Defense. Since the launch, and the killing of Hamas commander and chief of staff Ahmed Jabari, Hamas has launched both a military and public relations campaign to destabilize and delegitimize the State of Israel.

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has worked tirelessly over 100 years to ensure the delivery of quality health and education services to the people of Israel. In doing so, we have created a bridge to peace by treating all people, irrespective of their religion or ethnicity, including large numbers from the Palestinian Authority.

It is essential that the world community understand the facts on the ground.

• Israel used enormous restraint amidst an intolerable barrage of attacks on its citizens.

• With the attacks intensifying, it became necessary to address Hamas’ terror campaign and reestablish greater security for the Israeli people by launching Operation Pillar of Defense.

• 4.5 million Israelis, over half of the Israeli population, are under threat of rocket attack.

• Over 1,000 rockets have been launched into Israel from Gaza this year.

• 360 rockets were launched in the 48 hours before Israel’s operation began.

• Numerous adult fatalities have occurred and 150 Israelis have been wounded, including two infants in serious condition, since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense.

• Hamas places its missile launchers in hospitals, schools and densely populated civilian sites, in effect using civilian shields to deter Israeli counterattacks.

• Israel makes great efforts to avoid civilian causalities in its efforts to neutralize the Hamas missile capability.

The United States government — from the president to the members of Congress — has committed its support for Israel’s right to self-defense. We look to the world community for its understanding and its support of peace for the people of Israel.

—Iris Sapovits, president, Hadassah Southern Arizona