DM Barak's Statement from his Press Conference Earlier This Evening
(Wednesday, 14 November 2012)
(Communicated by Josh Hantman, International Media Advisor MOD
Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the following statement at a press
conference earlier this evening (Wednesday, 14 November 2012), at the
Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv:
“A few hours ago, the political echelons ordered the IDF to launch Operation
Pillar of Defense
in Gaza. The accuracy of the intelligence on behalf of both the Israel
Security Agency and our Military Intelligence, as well as the precise action
of the IDF, led to the elimination of Hamas’ military leader [Ahmad] Jabari
We also struck most of the long range Fajr missiles, additional Hamas
infrastructure, as well as other terror elements.
Israel does not want war. But Hamas’ consistent provocation in recent
weeks, in particular the incessant rounds of artillery rockets and mortars
into the heart of our southern communities, the tunnel which exploded deep
into Israeli territory, the anti-tank missile fired at a jeep – again inside
– forced our hand into acting with both precision and decisiveness.
We must be clear that Israel will not tolerate a situation in which there is
incessant [rocket] fire on our citizens. No life loving country would
accept this situation.
The goals of the operation are as follows:
1. Strengthening our deterrence
2. To inflict serious damage on the rocket launching network
3. To deliver a painful blow for Hamas and the other terrorist
4. To minimize damage to our home front
I would also like to express my deep appreciation for Chief-of-Staff
Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, Israel Security Agency Director Yoram Cohen, head of
the Military Intelligence and his personnel, the IDF, the ‘Iron Dome’ system
and its operators, and of course the Air Force. I wish you all continued
success throughout the operation. The IDF will receive the full backing to
do all that is necessary in order to restore quiet to the south.
There is no ‘quick-fix’ solution. Right now, as we stand here, massive
barrages of missiles are being fired at our cities. But we will achieve
these aforementioned goals throughout the course of this operation.
During the last few hours, I have spoken with mayors and regional councils
throughout the south. I would like to commend them on their resilience and
the spirit of the civilians in all the communities in the southern region.
It is the source of our strength in this battle that we are waging today.
We are still at the beginning of the event, not at the end, and we expect
some complicated tests ahead. It will require vigilance; not only in Gaza,
but also in Israel and in Judea and Samaria. But in the long run I believe
that this operation will contribute to strengthening deterrence and
reinstituting the calm in the south. I call upon the leaders of the region
to act with composure, in order to promote stability and restore quiet so
that we are not – heaven forbid – dragged into further deterioration."