Ex-Israeli PM says military can’t relent
HALIFAX Israel must continue waging war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip until the organization’s military capacity is destroyed, one of the country’s former prime ministers said Saturday, despite the fact the mounting civilian death toll in the conflict has drawn increased criticism from world leaders.
Ehud Barak’s remarks came on the second day of the Halifax International Security Forum at an early morning “chat” with PBS correspondent Nick Schifrin.
“We have to finish it,” the Israeli former general told the 15th annual version of the three-day conference, which has attracted about 300 delegates from around the world to discuss ways to promote democracy. “We have to complete it. It’s a compelling imperative. Israel’s government cannot survive if it cannot live up to its basic commitment to its citizens (and) if Hamas can … come back to power.”
The former military chief of staff said Israelis of all political stripes are united in their desire to complete the war and argued Israel follows rules of engagement that seek to minimize civilian deaths.
“For Israel, any target is searched, sometimes more than once, and a legal adviser and expert on international law is consulted to ensure everything is done, as far as possible, in a way to minimize the risk of killing people,” said Barak. “We are sorry for any life lost … but that’s part of war,” he said.
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited