The Embassy of Israel in NZ has responded to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s comments on the current situation in Gaza. [Read more here.]

Here is the statement the Embassy released today:

It is astonishing to see how much disinformation is being used against Israel for its self-defense on the Gaza border.

Israel is acting in self-defense in compliance with international law against an internationally recognized terror organization. The government of New Zealand, which has recognized Hamas as a terror organization, regrettably has not condemned Hamas for its actions nor its investment in terrorism. Make no mistake, Hamas continues to deprive the Gaza population of their basic rights and is cynically coercing the people for violent provocations against Israel.

Israel is unjustly and against any objective reasoning accused of using disproportionate force against Hamas. The use of force must be judged not by the number of casualties (and don’t forget that the majority of them are Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists), but in terms of the following security-oriented factors:

Number of violent rioters and how many are affiliated with Hamas (40,000 rioters with over half being affiliated with Hamas)

Number of violent attacks (thousands of violent attacks supported by weapons and various types of arms – as quoted by Mahmoud Al Zahhar, the former Foreign Representative of Hamas)

Number of planned storming into points into Israel (11 incursion points while the original plan was to storm the border fence with 100,000 people)

Intentions of a breach of the border, which would have resulted in the mass slaughter of Israeli civilians as part of the March of Return (a violent campaign that is a synonym for the destruction of Israel). This sentiment has been openly stated by one of the protestors: “We want them to burn, and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

The only path to reach a peaceful solution to this conflict is through direct negotiations and until then Israel has the right and duty to protect its sovereignty, its borders and its citizens.

Read Newshub’s report on the Embassy’s statement here.