Pro-Israel, Jewish Leaders React to Massive Rocket Fire From Gaza
JNS.org – Jewish and pro-Israel organizations condemned the more than 150 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday, following the latter assassinating Palestinian Islamic Jihad senior leader Baha Abu al-Ata in coastal enclave.
A US State Department spokesperson told JNS, “The United States stands in solidarity with Israel as Israeli families shelter from rockets fired by the Iranian-sponsored Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The US supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”
“Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Islamist terrorist org backed by Iran, is again attacking Israel with 100’s of missiles aimed at civilians. We stand w our friend & ally Israel at this critical moment & support Israel’s right to defend itself & bring an end to these barbaric attacks,” tweeted US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
“The US fully supports our partner & ally Israel in their fight against terrorism and the terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ),” tweeted US special envoy to the Mideast Avi Berkowitz. “The Administration strongly condemns the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians and continues to monitor the situation. It’s clear that the main obstacles holding Gazans back are Hamas and PIJ who put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza.”
“Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an Iranian-backed terrorist group. Its goal is to destroy Israel. It operates in Gaza, targets Israel with rockets & puts countless Israeli and Palestinian lives at risk. Last night in a precision strike, Israel took down a leader of the terror group. … The group is trying to kill and terrorize Israelis by indiscriminately firing at Israeli cities and towns,” tweeted AIPAC.
In a statement, J Street said it is “deeply concerned by the latest escalation between extremist militants in Gaza and Israel, in which the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has launched a barrage of rocket attacks against Israel following an IDF operation that killed a senior PIJ leader. We strongly condemn these rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. At this time, our thoughts are with the residents of southern and central Israel, with the IDF forces working to keep them safe and with all civilians on both sides of the divide.”
“We support Israel’s right to defend itself against acts of terror. We also urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the international community to take all possible steps to prevent a further escalation of armed conflict,” continued J Street. “Time and again, we have seen such escalations fail to resolve this conflict in any way, and instead lead to greater suffering and instability both for Israelis and for the people of Gaza.”
“Our thoughts are with the people of Israel who have been subjected to 150+ rocket attacks from the Iranian-backed, Islamic Jihad in Gaza since early morning. We stand in solidarity with Israel and the thousands in bomb shelters. We hope tensions will deescalate quickly,” tweeted the Anti-Defamation League.
“Once again, Israelis are being barraged by rocket attacks from Gaza, which have caused schools to close in much of the country and disrupted life for millions,” Jewish Federation of North America spokesperson Rebecca Dinar told JNS. “Federations stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel’s resilient citizens across the nation and send prayers for peace.”
Schools and certain public buildings in the Tel Aviv area and southern Israel were closed as a result of the rocket attacks.
“The terror campaign by Tehran-backed Islamic Jihad underscores once again Palestinian and Iranian intention to sow chaos in the region,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Dan Mariaschin told JNS. “No nation would tolerate such attacks. Where is the global outcry against this terror campaign?”
“Praying for the safety of Israelis under rocket attack and thankful for the strong defenses that keep the nation safe. May these attacks end and peace and security be restored swiftly,” tweeted Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center, the political arm of Reform Judaism.
“We stand with the Israeli people and strongly condemn the more than 150 rockets fired on Israel from Gaza in the past 12 hours. We’re also grateful for the Iron Dome missile defense system, which is saving countless lives in Israel,” tweeted the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
“Last night, in a surgical strike, Israel killed the commander of a terrorist group who was responsible for scores of terrorists acts and was about to launch more,” said Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO Mark Mellman in a statement. “Fortunately, civilians were not killed in the airstrike, which prevented imminent terrorist attacks.”
He added, “All people of good will should join in publicly condemning these attacks and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Neil Strauss simply told JNS, “We condemn PIJ and strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Jewish Community Relations Council spokesperson Jeremy Russell told JNS his organization is “deeply concerned about the attacks targeting Israeli civilians this morning, and our thoughts are with the people of Israel as they once again face an onslaught of indiscriminate rocket fire—this time aimed at cities and towns—from terrorist groups in Gaza. We hope that a cease-fire can be arranged quickly and without further suffering.”
In terms of ending the rocket fire, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov is expected to arrive in the Egyptian capital of Cairo to launch negotiations, reported Israeli media outlet Kann.
Reactions from Congress
Members of Congress, including Jewish ones, reacted to the latest between Gaza and Israel.
“Rockets from Islamic Jihad continue to hit Israel, following Israeli operation to kill terrorist leader. This indiscriminate rocket fire against civilians must be condemned. Israel has the absolute right to protect its people from these attacks,” tweeted Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
“Today, more than 150 rockets have been fired into Israeli communities by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. I condemn these indiscriminate attacks that have injured civilians, & fully support our ally Israel & its right to defend itself against these attacks,” tweeted Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.).
“Israel has a sovereign right to defend her citizens from indiscriminate terrorist attacks. She experienced 100+ rockets launched at civilians today. I just led a bipartisan Israel trip w/ Congresswomen to deliver a commitment to Israel’s safety & security,” tweeted Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
“Nearly 200 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel today, indiscriminately putting Israeli civilians in danger as schools and shopping centers have had to close. Israel has a right to protect its citizens and defend itself, and such terrorism deserves full condemnation,” tweeted Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).