Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israeli President enraged by questions on civilian deaths in Gaza at press conference

October 12, 2023 at 4:01 pm

Israeli President Isaac Herzog in West Jerusalem [Kobi Gideon(GPO)/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, became enraged during a press conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when journalists asked what Israel planned to do to prevent civilian deaths in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

Herzog held a press conference in Jerusalem on the sixth day of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Thursday, where he answered questions from members of the international press.

During the press conference, Herzog occasionally raised his voice and became agitated when journalists reminded him of Israel’s actions in Gaza that did not comply with “international law”.

After claiming in his responses to questions that Israel followed “international law” in its attacks on Gaza, a journalist asked Herzog,

Regarding your operations in Gaza, you said that this was not retaliation and that you hit the targets, but even US President, Joe Biden, mentioned the importance of compliance with laws of war and the humanitarian situation, so what is Israel doing to reduce the impact of this conflict on two million civilians, the majority of whom have not been afflicted

Herzog, however, argued that the rhetoric that civilians in Gaza were unaware of Hamas’ attacks or were not involved in them is untrue, and explained the deaths of civilians as “they could have rebelled against the malicious regime that took over Gaza in a coup attempt, they could have fought against it.”

READ: Egypt warns Israel against pursuing starvation policy in Gaza

Herzog denies his statements about Gaza

Following that, the CNN reporter said that mass targeting of civil society is against international law.

“Don’t you see what’s happening?” Herzog retorted. “Right now, we’re discussing serious war crimes.”

When Herzog argued that no one understood them, the British reporter responded, “I am sincerely sorry for what is happening in Israel right now, but I have been listening to your answers for the last few minutes and I am a little confused.”

On the one hand, I believe Israel follows international law in the Gaza Strip and that civilians are protected. You say you are very careful to prevent casualties but, at the same time, you hold the people of Gaza responsible for not standing up to Hamas

Herzog then raised his voice, once again, claiming that “rockets were being fired at Israel from the kitchens of houses in Gaza.”

The journalist went on to say, “My question is: Are civilians in Gaza held responsible for not destroying Hamas and, therefore, become legitimate targets?”

This time, the Israeli President said, “I did not say such a thing. A question was raised about the separation of Hamas and civilians.

“If you have a missile in your kitchen and want to launch it at us, don’t I have the right to defend myself?”

Over 1,400 Palestinians and 1,300 Israelis have been killed since the start of the Israel-Palestine conflict on Saturday.

In a dramatic escalation of Mideast tensions, Israeli forces have launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group, Hamas, in Israeli territories.

The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air, which Hamas said was in retaliation for the storming of the Al -Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

In response to Hamas’ actions, the Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

VIEW: Israeli army bombs civilians fleeing Gaza through Rafah crossing