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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
PM Netanyahu Statement Prior to his Meeting with UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-Moon

PM Netanyahu's Statement Prior to his Meeting with UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-Moon
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement prior to his
meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon today (Tuesday, 20 November
2012):

"Mr. Secretary, welcome to Jerusalem. You're always a welcome guest, and I
appreciate both your coming here and your statement. I want to thank you
for making it clear that Israel has the right to defend itself. I want to
thank you for your consistent statements condemning the rocket attacks on
Israel's citizens.

I know you're very concerned about the civilian casualties on both sides.
Well, we share your concern, and that is why, in fighting terror, our
military always tries to avoid civilian casualties
http://www.idf.il/1283-17615-en/Dover.aspx
In fact, I'm not sure that there is another military on Earth that goes to
such great lengths to keep innocents out of harm's way
http://www.idf.il/1283-17660-en/Dover.aspx
Israel is, I think, remarkable in that, when you consider the conditions
that we're facing, I think that something almost without parallel in history
is taking place. We're conducting these surgical operations against
terrorists
http://www.idf.il/1283-17607-EN/Dover.aspx
at a time when our own population is being bombarded by rocket attacks
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Israel_under_fire-November_2012.htm

Unfortunately, Mr. Secretary, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, and the other
terrorist groups, do not share your concern about our civilian casualties or
about civilian casualties at all. They're deliberately and indiscriminately
targeting our civilians and they deliberately hide behind their
civilians. The terrorists
target our children and they use their own children as human shields. They
place explosives, weapons, other destructive weapons of any kind in schools,
mosques, hospitals, universities. Targeting civilians and hiding behind
civilians, as you well know is a double war crime. If we hope to make these
tactics illegitimate, they should be condemned in the most forceful terms by
all responsible members of the international community. The moment we draw
symmetry between the victims of terror and the unintended casualties that
result from legitimate military action against the terrorists, the minute
that false symmetry is drawn, the terrorists win.

I know, Mr. Secretary, that you understand this, and I am confident, as
always, that you will continue to lend your moral authority to the struggle
against terrorism. Mr. Secretary, no country would tolerate rocket attacks
against its cities and against its civilians. Israel cannot tolerate such
attacks. If a long-term solution can be put in place through diplomatic
means, than Israel would be a willing partner to such a solution. But if
stronger military action proves necessary to stop the constant barrage of
rockets, Israel will not hesitate to do what is necessary to defend our
people.

I look forward to our discussions today, and I hope we can advance a
peaceful resolution."

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