UN Ambassador Defends Israel

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CBNNews.com - NEW YORK CITY - Israeli UN Ambassador Gabriella Shalev defended Israel's Operation Cast Lead.

Shalev said Israel will continue the operation until it completely destroys Hamas, however long it takes.

She said the extended cease-fire with Hamas collapsed in violence, pointing out the terror group's propensity for operating out of residential neighborhoods, effectively using people as "human shields."

"We are very sorry - and really I say it as a mother [and] as a grandmother -- to speak of children and women being killed," she said, [but] it's only the Hamas to blame."

Without disclosing Israeli strategy, Shalev said the operation would continue "as long as it takes to dismantle Hamas completely."

"The main goal is to destroy this terrorist gang completely, which makes people on both sides of the border - in Gaza and in Israel - suffer daily," she said.

The ambassador pointed out that the only goal Hamas had for the temporary cease-fire was to restock and rearm itself for war with Israel.

Regarding international criticism to the war in Gaza, Shalev said Israel desires peace.

"But first of all, we have the right to defend ourselves and we have the duty to protect our citizens. This comes before the understanding, which we hope to receive, of the international community," the ambassador said.

Source: The Associated Press

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