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July 18, 2014 3:10 pm

Israel’s Ambassador Dermer on Gaza Child Deaths: ‘I Have No Doubt Hamas Was Celebrating When These Children Were Killed’ (VIDEO)


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Israel's Ambassador Ron Dermer on CNBC. Photo: Screenshot.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said on Thursday he is certain that Hamas terrorists rejoiced in the deaths of four children killed on Wednesday in Gaza when the IDF targeted a “nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces,” according to a witness.

“I have no doubt that Hamas was celebrating when these children were killed,” he told CNBC’s John Harwood. “No one in Israel was celebrating when these children were killed.”

Confronted about charges that Israel is using “vastly, disproportionate force” in its war against Hamas, Dermer said the Jewish state does everything possible to avoid civilian casualties but that sometimes mistakes happen.

“We drop fliers, send text messages, make phone calls… And even though we’ll make the most surgical attacks possible, sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes there’s a mistake and we regret the loss of any civilian lives,” he said.

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“Imagine you would have over 200 million Americans who would be in bomb shelters and they would have a 1,000 rockets fired at them from contiguous territory, from a terror organization. Do you think the American military or the American government would use less force than Israel is using now?” he added. “I don’t think anyone can seriously tell me that.”

Dermer said that while Israel strives to protect the innocent, Hamas uses Gaza residents as human shields and does everything “to put their civilians into harm’s way.” He noted that the Gaza-based terror group is now using images of the deceased Gazan children as anti-Israel propaganda, which, he said, the international community should not tolerate.

“What they wanna do, Hamas, is they wanna use these pictures, these terrible pictures of children being killed… to generate pressure on Israel,” Dermer said. “And the key thing for the international community now is to not let them use those pictures to pressure Israel but to use those pictures to pressure Hamas.”

“The world is backing Israel’s right to defend itself and I think that’s important because it sends a message to Hamas,” he added, explaining how the Israel-Hamas conflict might be brought to a close. “I feel like if Hamas will understand that they are facing not just this Iron Dome but this iron wall of diplomatic opposition than hopefully we can bring this to a better conclusion.”

Watch a video of Dermer’s interview below:

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