Israel’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Ofra Farhi said the country is not at war with Palestine, but is fighting to exterminate Hamas in retaliation to its attack on Israel on 7 October which saw over 1400 people being killed.
Addressing local journalists recently, Mrs Farhi and Colonel Peter Lerner who was speaking from the frontlines of the war described Hamas as a terrorist group that is using Gaza Strip as its staging ground. As a result, a lot of innocent civilians are losing their lives.
“I want to share with you about the last two and half weeks of war with Hamas. The terrorist organization, which is governing the Gaza strip launched against our people on the 7th of October. The organization had created a coordinated widespread extensive breach of the Israeli perimeter. They have killed over 1400 people and have massacred, dismembered, beheaded, raped and butchered our people.
“We are determined to dismantle Hamas’ capabilities, to make sure they can never utilize the Gaza strip as their staging ground against us again. I would say, based on the 3 principles of armed conflict, there is a distinction between civilians of Gaza, because they are not our enemy. Hence there is need to split between Gaza civilians and the Hamas militants. We are determined as the IDF to destroy any Hamas capability to retaliate once and for all,” Colonel Lerner said.
He accused the Iranian government of funding Hamas with over US$100 million annually to build its army and technical capabilities.
“This attack took place in the background of this terrorist organization and a strategic understanding that they are not seeking war. The organization of Hamas has utilized all of the tools of the government to build its army based on the training and capabilities of Iran. The Iranian government has been supporting the group with 100 million dollars per year for all supplies from weaponry to food,” said Colonel Lerner.
He said the operation of the Israeli Defense Forces is aimed at restoring peace, security, and rebuilding physical barriers in Israel. These objectives will be met after it completes its offensive efforts towards Hamas.
“Since the 7th of October, the Israeli Defense forces have been focused very much on three core missions. First of all, restoring security in the broader communities. We are continuing to see attempts to penetrate the border by Hamas terrorists.
“Secondly, our military operation is currently restoring and rebuilding the physical barriers to protect affected communities. Thirdly, the last focus is taking an offensive effort, taking the war to Hamas in the Gaza territory. This offensive is focused on three levels of their institution, which are the levels of leadership, the minor institutions of government and the terrorist army which needs to be breached and dismantled,” said Col. Lerner.
The Hamas-Israel war has claimed over five thousand lives, and displaced millions of people since the day it broke out.