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Israel calls ‘hypocrisy’ in international criticism

August 4th, 2014
03:34 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Criticism of Israel from some of its staunchest allies smacks of hypocrisy, the Israeli intelligence minister told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Monday.

“Sometimes I feel there is some hypocrisy in the criticism,” Yuval Steinitz said. “Maybe [the] United States, Britain, France, and NATO forces can teach us from their experience how to minimize collateral damage – for example, in their experience in Belgrade; their experience in Iraq; in Fallujah in Iraq; or in Afghanistan.”

“The IDF is doing more than any other armed forces, including Western armed forces, to minimize collateral damage.”

Also in an interview with Pleitgen, Palestinian Parliamentarian Mustafa Barghouti hit back at Steinitz.

“The Israeli intelligence minister does not seem to be intelligent enough to realize that the loss of 1,850 precious lives of Palestinian civilians, mostly, and the injury of 9,000 other civilians, is not and cannot be called ‘collateral damage.’ This is inhuman to call this suffering ‘collateral damage.’”

After the shelling of United Nations schools this weekend, the United States State Department had some of its harshest words yet for Israel.

“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah,” it said. “The coordinates of the school, like all U.N. facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces. We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”

Israel, of course, insists that Hamas purposefully fires rockets from civilian areas.

“This idea,” Steinitz said, “that if they are launching rockets from civilian neighborhoods or nearby, unfortunately, some schools or hospitals, then we cannot or should not defend ourselves? You know, what alternative to we have?”

Pleitgen put Israel’s claim to Barghouti.

“This is not true,” Barghouti said. “And this is an Israeli claim that has not been proven.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that a chief mission of the Israeli mission in Gaza is to destroy the extensive tunnel system that Hamas has built under the territory and into Israel.

Pleitgen asked the intelligence minister whether it was a failure of his ministry that it failed to recognized the extent of the tunnels before so-called Operation Protective Edge.

“We were very well aware of those tunnels,” he responded. “For the last three or four years, Hamas invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building this network of hundreds of tunnels … maybe ten or fifteen tunnels going into Israel, but many more inside Gaza.”

Filed under:  Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Hamas is killing their own kids and this is how it really is happening. Why can't the government admit to this?

    Look at what hamas is doing to these kids by bringing them into the fight purposely. Why do they send rockets with their kids right there. Because they want them killed is the only answer and it is sicking what they are doing

    August 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  2. İDF

    Israeli army nations and in which it has all the peoples for centuries under pressure – rightful place and status – all world states without accepting the – criticism've been doing in the – right thing – which it has your people, your nation and your nation, your any kind of protection against damage and their tranquility and spacious with living in provide israel – until this time too let it showed – is now, owned all the facilities to the end using, owned within the limits – this is human after all once the war – all of Palestine will destroy up to be continued. have the technology and facilities with this we have the flag – land-and we believe that for everything and all over the world living heart for Israel scorer for all mankind beloved country sacrificed for is for my country loop for me in this universe is the highest honor. IDF

    August 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Plexus

      I am amazed at the polarization of the discussion on those forums. So many people seem to see the world in white or black, and fail (or refuse) to see the point of view of both sides. This is precisely why this conflict has become so inextricable.

      First off, Hamas is not the root of the problem; the root of the problem is 70 years of a imprisonment without any hope of freedom for the Palestinians and their yet-to-be-born children. Does anyone know of any country or people in the history of the world that revolted (and kept revolting) without cause? And in spite of their hard line and colourful verbatim, we all know that Hamas will not hesitate to negotiate if given a chance. After all, Arafat himself used to refuse to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist.

      Second, nothing is all white or all black. Israel is no less guilty than the Palestinians for the situation they are in. Even when the Palestinians did not wage war the Israeli government confiscated Palestinian land, never ceased building settlements, burning farms, bulldozing olive trees and building settler only roads. They also refused to give permits to Palestinians to build homes or additions to their homes and when they built something the IDF would bulldoze the entire house. They limited access to water and irrigation to the Palestinians and started putting up checkpoints left and right to restrict, humiliate and demoralize the population. These actions pushed the Palestinians to rebel in the first Intifada which was a bunch of kids burning tires in the middle of the road and throwing stones (like in South Africa). And like South Africa, the police and military shot at them with rubber bullets and live ammunition. When Hamas started forming the Israeli intelligence services funded them, gave them arms and gave them protection from the PLO in order to create division within the Palestinian people and show the world that the intifada was a violent terrorist movement and not a revolt against occupation and apartheid conditions.

      What we need is a return to OSLO, have Israel amend the agreement by making them recognize the right of Palestinians of having their own state in peace and security. The Palestinians in OSLO recognized Israel and its right to exist whereas Israel has never officially recognized a Palestinian state in any agreement (OSLO or others that came after). Palestine can be demilitarized and have a mutual defense pact with the US and Israel which would guarantee its protection. It has been over 20 years since OSLO and what have the Palestinians gotten for their efforts at making peace? Zero. On the contrary, the Israelis are still building, confiscating land and destroying Palestinian farms. Don't even try to come back with the Clinton BS Camp David proposal (not even a real proposal just an outline) which even former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Amihave said he would have rejected it if he was a Palestinian. Israel has never truly wanted to create peace by giving the right to Palestinians to have their own separate state. The goal all along was to buy time and build settlements until it would be impossible to have a contiguous and viable state.

      Let us hope the upcoming talks will be more than just another cease-fire. Because until and unless they are given the hope of a long-term solution, the Palestinians will not cease making themselves heard by the Israelis and the rest of the world, no matter how hard they get crushed each time, as they have shown time and again.

      August 6, 2014 at 8:18 am | Reply
  3. RLTJ's

    What the international community is saying? Me, I think they are saying that the strikes are not "precision strikes" enough. War is war, what do people expect in war. But we are talking there of warring parties and combatants.

    Here we are seeing innocent civilian casualties. And we have seen them in the kinds of places hit.

    Me I think David is acting funny. Slinging a stone at a pierced bird. There's a priced object straight behind the bird. Funny he did not see what's behind. Or maybe he does, but David just would want to be ignorant about it. Now, if you find that funny.

    August 4, 2014 at 11:51 pm | Reply
    • abe

      Thousands of rockets on Israel IS war.

      August 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  4. chandran

    This time we the remaining indo-aryan on behalf adolf hitler we make the gas-chambers ready for the rest of jews crook
    who doing these things. that day will come you will see that death to anglo saxen race from the earth
    long live hitler

    August 5, 2014 at 2:05 am | Reply
    • Tina

      LOL!!!! Keep in dreaming! LOL

      August 8, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  5. saladin

    Netanayhu must be indicted on war crimes. This has to happen asap, before he follows the usual karmic trajectory of Israeli leaders into jail, a coma or an assassin's gunsights.

    August 5, 2014 at 2:21 am | Reply
  6. Harriet

    I was very disturbed this morning to understand from a CNN reporter that the people of Gaza use tunnels to go out to buy food?This is definitely not the facts. Why is the CNN reporting so biased against Israel?

    August 5, 2014 at 4:51 am | Reply
    • Alien

      Well, I hope that isn't the only thing that got you very disturbed.

      August 6, 2014 at 5:20 am | Reply
  7. hdq

    Politics cannot exist without Hypocrisy. As long as politics, that is government by violence and deception, is acceptable, there will be hypocrisy on all sides.

    August 5, 2014 at 5:50 am | Reply
  8. Marcus Collins

    Funny Israeli's feel always misunderstood and have trouble with any form of )self) criticism. They monopolised suffering, while they lost a staggering number of people there were other groups she were hit even much harder. The fact that Hitler slaughtered them is turned in a marketing tool; a tool of blackmailing Western Nations in submission when they obviously target women and children. In the end they will harvest what they deserve from the world. They sow the seeds of anger which eventually will come back to bite them very very hard.

    August 5, 2014 at 6:34 am | Reply
  9. Gary Morton

    He cited FALLUJAH???? The Americans evacuated women and children from Fallujah before they went in. I must have missed the part when Israel evacuated the women and children of Gaza.
    They take $3 Billion of American taxpayer money, year in and year out, use it to slaughter women and children, and then have the gall to slander the Americans that were at Fallujah. They have no shame and no morals. None.

    August 5, 2014 at 11:56 am | Reply
  10. Paul

    The explanation Yuval is laughable , when he says they are protecting theirs citizens and they have to bombard schools and hospitals, because Hammas is launching his rockets from there.
    Aren't any others forms to protect them?
    And the protection against rockets they have,with the Us aid?
    Now they are saying that the mission is finished because they have destroyed all the tunnels built by Hammas.
    To destroy these tunnels was necessary all this massacre against to civilian people?

    August 6, 2014 at 7:29 am | Reply
    • abe

      Google "rocket attacks against israel", see the wikipedia article and go to "Effects" to see how many Isaelis have lost their lives or were injured in the past few years.

      Israelis living in Sderot and other places have become refugees in their own land in the last weeks, because they can not be protected by Iron Dome (rockets hit Sderot after 14 seconds, Iron Dome needs more than that)
      The tunnels had to be destoryed because a Terrorist organization built them to strike against Israeli population, and the reason so many Gazans died was because Hamas made their are a battle zone, before and during the destruction of the tunnels.

      If you have another way of protecting Israelis please write.
      Just remember that rockets have been hitting Israel long before the blockade – the rockets are the reason for the blockade, not the other way around.

      August 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Reply
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