As Israel engages in a massive air campaign ahead of an anticipated full-scale ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on Friday that all citizens of Gaza are responsible for the attack Hamas perpetrated in Israel last weekend that left over 1,200 people dead.
“It is an entire nation out there that is responsible,” Herzog said at a press conference on Friday. “It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up. They could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’etat.”
When a reporter asked Herzog to clarify whether he meant to say that since Gazans did not remove Hamas from power “that makes them, by implication, legitimate targets,” the Israeli president claimed, “No, I didn’t say that.”
But he then stated: “When you have a missile in your goddamn kitchen and you want to shoot it at me, am I allowed to defend myself?”
Herzog’s comments follow Israel’s announcement that it had directed the 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza to evacuate, likely ahead of a ground invasion. Israel dropped thousands of flyers over northern Gaza and left voice messages on Friday directing people to leave their homes and flee south. [Continue reading…]