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Decision on ground operation in Gaza Strip not taken yet — Israel's ambassador in Russia

July 14, 2014, 16:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Dorit Golender, Israel's ambassador to Russia, noted that Israel has the full right to protect its citizens

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Israeli artillery soldiers

Israeli artillery soldiers


MOSCOW, July 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Israel did not take a decision to hold a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, but this issue is on agenda, Israeli Ambassador in Russia Dorit Golender said on Monday.

“A decision on a full-scale ground operation is not taken yet,” the diplomat noted.

Meanwhile, she noted that Israel would not leave movement HAMAS’ actions without a proper response. Golender also noted that pinpoint strikes could be delivered and further actions will be taken in compliance with current situation.

“Israel is a state with the strongest army. We’ll be able to protect ourselves,” Golender said.

Israel does not carry out an act of aggression, but protects its citizens, conducting a military operation in the Gaza Strip, Dorit Golender told a news conference on Monday.

“We have three tasks: first, protect our citizens, second, destroy HAMAS infrastructure, third, Israel wants calm,” the ambassador noted.

Israel has the full right to protect its citizens, Golender said. “We do not carry out any aggression. Each person has the right for self-defence,” she said.

“Israel is absolutely not interested in worsening the situation,” the diplomat noted, adding that “But the Cabinet, the army will take steps which they will find needed to put an end to those outrages which HAMAS is committing.”

It is noteworthy that right at the start of a news conference as long as the ambassador said her welcome words journalists unexpectedly heard the air attack alert siren. “This is the live air alert signal from Israel, this is an application on my phone,” the diplomat calmed them down, noting that at that moment the air alert warning system was activated in the Jewish state. “Israeli citizens who are shelled every day live this way,” she added.

“Israel did not want any [combat] actions, we pursued a moderate policy,” Golender said.


Situation in the Gaza Strip

Overnight to Monday, fighters of the Israeli Air Force have carried out reconnaissance flights over the territory of Lebanon after a shooting attack on the outskirts of Nahariya.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded on Sunday the Israel and Palestine take immediate steps for stopping the confrontation in the Gaza Strip. The issued statement emphasizes that the Ban Ki-moon is concerned over the deterioration of the situation in the region amid calls on truce by the UN Security Council.

At night, the Palestinian militants have fired two missiles from southern Lebanon aimed at Israeli territory, according to local TV channel LBC. The report says that artillery fire was opened in response. There were no reports about any victims among the civilians.

Later, a 20-year-old Palestinian was killed in the Western Bank of Jordan. AFP news agency reported that the young man was wounded during Israel's attack on an area near the city of Hebron and passed away later in hospital.

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On Monday, Israel's missile defense system downed an air drone launched by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. The press service of Israel's defense army reported that the drone that came from the Gaza Strip was destroyed by the Patriot missile system on the seaside near the city of Ashdod.

Saudi Arabia pledged to allocate 200 million Saudi riyals ($53.3 million) for humanitarian aid for Palestinians that were affected as a result of the Pillar of Defense operation carried out by Israeli military.

As a result of a missile explosion in Ashdod an 8-year-old child received moderate injuries, according to local media reports. It has been added that at least six missiles were fired on Ashdod.

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has stated that Israel will continue delivering strikes from the air and sea on facilities of the Hamas movement.

In the course of several raids in cities of the Western Bank of Jordan, Israeli servicemen arrested 23 Palestinians including 11 parliamentarians of the Palestinian Legislative Council representing the Hamas movement, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.

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