Israeli Deputy Defense Minister: Cut off Electricity to Gaza

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 11:59 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Each time sirens alert Israelis that a Palestinian-launched missile is heading its way, the people of Gaza should lose electricity, Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon tells Newsmax TV.

"I don’t know if you're aware, but we are providing the electricity into Gaza," he told "America’s Forum" hosts J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman. "By the way, they're not paying for that, but we are providing electricity, and it's being used to send missiles against us. My idea was that whenever we have to run for shelter, and we have to put our life into our foes [hands], there will be no electricity in Gaza for a period of time, and those on the other side will feel what we are feeling under the missile threat."

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For the past week, violence has ensued between Gaza Strip militants launching rocket attacks against Israel and Israel conducting airstrikes that have reportedly killed 160 Palestinians. No Israelis have reportedly been killed in the violence. Israel is notifying Palestinians to evacuate before a strike is launched, according to Reuters.

Danon said Israel is between a rock and a hard place, surrounded by neighbors who would like to destroy them.

"I wish we had neighbors like yours, Canada or Mexico or the ocean, which is the best," he said. "In Israel … we have the Hamas, the Hezbollah. We have the Syrians. This is a neighborhood you have to show strength every once in a while and to flex your muscle, that's something we haven’t done yet in this operation."

Israel, he noted, is "ready and equipped" to begin a ground offensive if a diplomatic resolution cannot be reached.

"I don’t know whether it will happen or not. There's a lot of people trying to mediate now between Israel and the Hamas," Danon said. "We have to hit the Hamas harder, then they will be willing to talk. For now, they haven't felt the pressure yet."

As in Syria, Danon said, where international pressure forced Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to get rid of chemical weapons, the Palestinians need to be pushed.

"Not only to call for a ceasefire, but to make sure that we'll take the rockets capability out of Gaza. Otherwise, it's only a matter of months until the next conflict."

Israel is doing everything it can to mitigate casualties, and its sophisticated equipment has been successful at notifying them of "weapons, rockets, drones and other means" coming from Sinai into Gaza. Israel has warned civilian aircraft to avoid the southern portion of the country. Israel, Danon said, has "the capability and technology" to monitor and protect its skies.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined to discuss a ceasefire and said Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself and ensure Israeli security.

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