The following comes from the Jewish Federation of Greater Springfield:
- Israel’s actions launched in Gaza approximately 2 weeks ago are aimed at rescuing the Israeli soldier kidnapped during an attack by Hamas. The kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers represents an act of war and is the culmination of months of rocket attacks from Gaza and other terrorist attacks in Israel that have killed 19 people. Israel’s operation was approved only after Israel exhausted all diplomatic means to secure the soldier’s release. The failure of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas to prevent terrorism has forced Israel to take measures on her own to rescue the kidnapped soldier, and stop the bombardment of Kassam missiles, now hitting Southern towns in Israel, including Ashkelon.
- This morning's attack by Hizbollah, which occurred only 17 days after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted in Gaza, opened a second front on Israel's northern border. This attack has taken the lives of 7 soldiers, and been responsible for the kidnapping of 2 more, northern towns in Israel have been victim to barrages of Katyusha rockets and mortar shells. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared the attack as an "act of war."
- Since the withdrawal from Gaza, Palestinian terrorist groups have launched over 500 rocket attacks at vulnerable Israeli cities surrounding the Gaza Strip such as Sderot and Ashkolon, landing in or near private homes, schools and day care and recreation centers. Despite repeated appeals by the Israeli Government, the Palestinian Authority has done nothing to stop the launching of rocket attacks on Israel or to prevent the smuggling of arms, including Katyusha rockets from Egypt.
- Israel has an obligation to protect its citizens from attack on all of her borders.
Situation on the Ground for Palestinian Civilians in the Gaza Strip
- Israel continues to closely monitor the economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza and is working to transfer essential goods and fuel into Gaza based on Palestinian demand and in coordination with international relief agencies.
- Israel continues to supply both water and electricity to the Gaza Strip and in light of the current situation has increased the amount it supplies.
- A power station in the Gaza Strip was knocked down but Israel continues to provide fuel and generators for the Palestinians, especially the hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
- Basic food items have been transferred to Gaza, including: wheat, corn, cooking oil, meat, fruit and milk.
- In addition medicines and medical supplies have been transported into Gaza based on recommendations from Red Cross officials.