Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned on Sunday that the Hamas rulers of Gaza, bent on destroying Israel, are in fact destroying the infrastructure and social fabric of the Palestinians under their control.
“The time is coming near, when the infrastructure in Gaza will collapse, leaving many civilians in distress, with no sanitary conditions, exposed to pollution, impure water, and epidemics,” Rivlin said during a visit to the Gaza border area.
Responding to constant allegations by the Palestinians that Israel is to blame for the hardships suffered by Gaza residents because of its security blockade, the president said:
“The entire world must know and understand that the ones who are preventing rehabilitation are Hamas. Israel is the only one in the region, that whatever the situation, transfers essentials to the residents of Gaza, so that they can sustain the body and mind. We will not tolerate accusations of blame. I call on all world nations, to all who are able, and have the influence, to pressure those ruling Gaza, to pressure Hamas, to accept responsibility for their actions and the lives of their people.”
Instead of investing aid it receives in social services, the terrorist organization funnels it into military activities:
“Hamas is developing terrorist bases in hospitals, in mosques, in schools. It continues to invest its energy in military armament, in building terror tunnels, in planning terror attacks against the State of Israel,” Mr. Rivlin said.
After a briefing on the security situation in the south, from Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, Head of the IDF Gaza Division Col. Yehuda Fuchs, Mr. Rivlin went to Kibbutz Nirim, where he toured a new neighborhood and met with around 250 students and residents from the area at the Nofei HaBasor School.
“I have come to you now from meetings with the security forces and having received an operational update,” began the president. Speaking of Operation Protective Edge, he continued “In that operation, we fought for our home, for our kindergartens, for our schools, for our paths and fields. That was a war for our existence and for our daily lives.&
“The campaign was over. But the war is not done. The State of Israel’s mission is not completed. We will fight the terrorist organization. An extremist, cruel, and murderous terrorist organization. A terror organization which does not spare a single thought for the future and welfare of the residents of Gaza, and for which a “reconciliation” of one kind or another is only a step towards the advancement of war. A terror organization which does not recognize our existence, and has as its goal to damage and destroy the State of Israel.
He concluded: “We will not rest until there is quiet, until we have built a barrier of iron, a wall of iron which, together with Iron Dome, will defend the residents from those who wish them ill. The day will come when they will understand that we are here to stay and flourish.”