Israeli ambassador to US on situation near Gaza border
Michael Oren speaks out
- Duration 6:09
- Date Nov 18, 2012
Michael Oren speaks out
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Israel widens its offensive -- expands its targets as it enters day five in -- battle against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
A short time ago Gaza medical officials say an Israeli missile flattened a house in -- residential neighborhood killing at least eleven civilians including several children.
The international community is trying to broker a cease fire even -- concern grows that Israel and Hamas are closing in on an all out war.
I'm Jane every move again our number two of America's News HQ with the Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren ambassador thank you so much for coming in today -- -- -- chairman.
-- how do you respond to these concerns that are are are consistently -- on both sides of the issue that awareness is is happening is not -- a traditional battleground -- -- there are civilians who were going to be involved on both sides.
But -- and let's keep in mind we have five and a half million Israelis under shell fire right now we're talking on the way up here to fox the sirens are going off in Tel Aviv.
And that that take that's that's -- almost.
Close to three quarters of our entire population is either in a bomb shelter right now or within a 152.
Run from the nearest bomb -- that's how long you have before the bomb hits.
Now the huge difference between Abbas and Hamas a terrorist organization.
Is that they -- using -- -- civilian population as human shields -- shooting from behind them.
In order to maximize the number of civilians they -- on our side.
We by contrast -- taken superhuman efforts to minimize civilian -- on their side.
We have this computer that generates tens of thousands of phone calls to residents of areas that are -- would be targeted telling them to get out of there we dropped tens of thousands of leaflets.
Sometimes civilians are hurt and we deeply regret we doing our utmost to try to event that.
That's difference between us.
And then there -- terrorist group they're trying to kill our civilians and and it got a job they've killed our civilians you've got to have more than a 150 wounded.
It's perfectly iron -- is is acting at at as hoped and as expected and preventing some of that loss of life and injury.
Yeah -- it's extraordinary it's got a 90% success rate you can watch these missiles being taken out this guy.
And -- that we really owe a great debt of appreciation to America to -- president of the congress who have given tremendous amount of support to this.
To this anti iron dome battery system which is the first.
Anti missile defense system in history to actually work and work -- -- -- -- -- And challenging is it for Israel to be where it is geographically especially over the last couple of years -- we as we've seen so much unrest.
So much transition.
In two different leadership.
And I along with leaders of that is very clearly opposed to Israel and its survival.
How much more challenging has it gotten in the last couple of years.
Well it's a tough neighborhood and sometimes it gets tougher.
We see opportunities if box rather Al Assad and his regime in Syria falls that would be a good thing of -- huge blow to Iran a huge wrote to his Bala.
-- elsewhere we see challenges.
Hamas remains a terrorist organization dedicated to destruction of the State of Israel if you look at its covenant.
They want to kill Jews throughout the entire world not just not just the Jews and Israel.
And there's -- sitting down negotiating these people they shoot at us they got to know that Israel is going to take.
All necessary and legitimate -- to defend ourselves.
And that's what we're going to.
We talk about negotiation.
Their reports that there is an Israeli official in Cairo -- -- that there will be ongoing talks are efforts there and -- deceased there.
But -- and -- assurance do you have -- all the the other side of this equation is going to legitimately engage in something that would stop these attacks on Israel.
Well we can't go back to the situation we had before we had a terrorist organization that every few days decided to fire several dozen rockets into southern Israel and paralyze -- southern part of the country that is not tolerable.
Present Obama said today that no country would put up -- that we appreciate him saying that that is the reality we're not going back there.
You know we we made a huge gesture in 2005 -- sounds like into history gunfire we pulled up 21.
Communities from Gaza.
9000 people -- yanked out of their homes in order to try to make peace with with with the Palestinians there instead of peace we got thousands and thousands of rockets fired us.
We are willing to -- to strike a deal that will make sure that that situation does not return.
But until that happens we're gonna take all those necessary measures to defend what is it possible to have legitimate good faith negotiations with a terrorist group.
Very difficult to understand at this and whatever.
Rangers have been made you just you can't trust Hamas Hamas is this as a terrorist organizations dedicated to killing civilians that's what has to do.
Obviously there has to be some type of international component there.
But I'm -- -- -- a modest start harping on this we can't go back to what we have before and when it take.
Every measure necessary and legitimate to make sure that that situation does not return.
What is the tipping point for Israeli leaders from prime minister to decide that it is necessary to move forward with ground war operations -- -- -- -- Collecting as I as I mentioned before just coming up to the studios now the sirens ringing in Tel Aviv yesterday the sirens are ringing in Jerusalem.
And listen it's very -- with us I got a son -- an infantry officer got a daughter who's a teacher in Jerusalem.
You know our our our kids' lives are on on the line here.
And so of course what would you -- he was apparent to defend your children we're gonna do whatever we have to do to defend our kids.
What do you think would be.
That -- the timeline for making decision about the ground war for how long it could last.
An estimation as to worst case an area.
Well obviously we actually have to use that that the -- wanna use -- most efficient way we're gonna do again our utmost to avoid civilian casualties.
But we're not there yet and we hope that Hamas will back down and Hamas will accept arrangements will ensure that they will never -- fire at our.
At our population and paralyze the country.
And again we live in a tough neighborhood but we're a resilient and robust country and we can handle it.
I ambassador we appreciate your time and weevil of course -- monitoring this minute and then as you said it it is constantly changing and if you're thinking.