Israel has the ‘most moral and humane’ military – minister
Israel’s energy minister, Israel Katz, told the German publication Bild this week that its “humane” military forces are demonstrating restraint in their ongoing bombardment of the Gaza enclave, which has drawn fierce condemnation from the United Nations.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have conducted an extensive bombing campaign on the densely-populated Palestinian enclave, Gaza, in retaliation for the militant group Hamas’ October 7 incursion into Israel. Israeli sources say that some 1,400 people were killed in the assault, most civilians.
But despite Katz telling Bild that Israel finds itself in “World War III against radical Islam,” the government minister said that its forces are acting “humane” in their response.
“We have no interest in letting the population starve,” Katz said. “We want to overwhelm Hamas. That’s why we’re calling on the population to go south. There, they get water, food, medicine, and everything else.”
He added: “I emphasize again: We are humane people. We are the most moral military in the world.”
Katz further explained to Bild his belief that had other countries experienced an attack of a similar scale, many would have responded far more forcefully. “If, God forbid, there had been such an attack from Mexico on Texas in the United States,” he said, “there would be no Mexico.”
The Gaza Ministry of Health stated that upwards of 7,000 lives have been killed in the coastal enclave since Israel’s retaliatory strikes began. Nearly 3,000 of these are children, they said. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said that he was doubtful about the official death toll put forth by the Palestinians but did not elaborate on why he is skeptical.
The United Nations says that upwards of 1 million people – close to half of the population of Gaza – have been displaced amid the Israeli onslaught on the under-siege territory.
Israel was angered this week by a statement by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the 15-member Security Council in which he said that the Hamas attack in Israel cannot “justify the collective punishment” of the Palestinian people.
Guterres added that there have been “clear violations of international humanitarian law” and that the Hamas attacks “did not happen in a vacuum” but after Palestinians had been “subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said in response that Guterres’ comments amounted to “a justification for terrorism and murder” and demanded that he resign.