• 17 July, 2024
Foreign Affairs, Geopolitics & National Security

“We are not giving up”: Israel’s envoy to India on war against Hamas

Wed, 29 Nov 2023   |  Reading Time: 4 minutes

New Delhi [India], November 28 (ANI): Israel’s Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, reiterated on Tuesday that the Jewish nation is not going to give up the aim of making sure that Hamas will not be able to carry out such acts against country ever and vowed to ‘fight until victory.’
“But eventually, the aim is dual and we are not giving up the aim of making sure that Hamas will not be able to carry out such acts against Israel. So they are, we’re going entirely on both, and we believe that each is serving the other,” the Israeli envoy said in a press conference here in the national capital.
Speaking further on Hamas and its atrocities, Gilon said that Israel viewed the group as a concept–a clear failure in understanding the terrorist organisation.
“One clear failure that we had was that we looked at Hamas as a concept that led to many other failures. We looked at Hamas, hoping that they were a problematic organisation that controls Gaza, and they had an interest in supplying the people of Gaza with a reasonable, decent life,” Gilon said.
He said that Israel had always thought about the civilians in Gaza, whereas Hamas did not care about them.
He said, “Now, we had a dual containment on the one hand; it’s the military deterrence; you see the military ratio; Israel is much stronger; on the other hand, we try to improve the lives of Gazans… and we had a lot of stuff going in; 500 km of tunnels–there is a lot of cement–and metal is used, but also 30,000 Gazans more or less working in Israel, which was a huge thing. But all of that, the prosperity in Gaza–I mean, Hamas couldn’t care about it.
In a scathing attack on Iran, Gilon further added that Iran is very much connected to whatever is happening in the region.
“It’s very clear and we have to say that Iran is very much connected to everything happening now in the region. Iran…has four armed wings in the region, and against Israel, all four of them are activated; all four are traded, financed and equipped by Iran…,” Gilon said.
“You have Hezbollah in Lebanon; you have Hamas, of course, in Gaza; you have Houthis in Yemen; you have Shia militias in Iraq and Syria; and all four are now working against Israel, and Iran doesn’t want to lose Hamas; they understand that if we execute what we promise to do, it will be the end of that,” he added.
On Israel asking India to ban Hamas, the envoy said, “We did whatever was expected from our side to suggest it. Now it’s an Indian decision, government to decide.”
He underlined how from day one, India’s position on the Gaza crisis is remarkable. “The Indian position from day one on the Gaza crisis is remarkable… Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction came out, and he was very clear and adamant against terrorism… Since then, the Indian position has been very consistent…,” the envoy added.
The Israeli envoy also spoke at length about the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and highlighted that the terrorist organisation was never listed in Israel; however, the process was started soon.
“Our deputy, Ohad, came 5-6 months ago…we were not aware that Lashkar-e-Taliba was never listed in Israel. So, we started the process. It’s a long process. Usually, we don’t list organisations that are not connected to Israel or to another region…,” Gilon said.
“When it comes to fighting terrorism, we are very determined and it’s not about that. We felt it’s the right gesture to make it 15 years after…because practically Lashkar e Taiba is a local terror organisation…It’s working here in this region; it has arms, to the best of my knowledge, around the world, executing terror actions. It was never on the table,” the Israeli Ambassador added.
Israel this month banned Lashkar-e-Taiba to mark the 15th year of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Multiple terrorist attacks were witnessed on November 26, 2008 in Mumbai. As many as 166 people, including 20 security force personnel and 26 foreign nationals, were killed and over 300 people were injured.
Fifteen years ago, Pakistan carried out one of the most heinous terror attacks perpetrated anywhere in the world. The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, was named after the date in 2008. The targets were carefully chosen after being surveyed for maximum impact, viz. the Taj and Oberoi Hotels, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Jewish centre at Nariman House, and the Leopold Cafe, since these places were frequented by Europeans, Indians and Jews.
Gilon also spoke about former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal’s recent address at an event. Earlier in October, Mashal virtually addressed the event, which was organised by Solidarity Youth Movement, the youth wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Kerala. The former Hamas chief addressed the gathering in Arabic.
Meanwhile, Colonel Avichai Zafrani, Defence Attache to the Israeli Embassy in India, said, “Now the operation is just in the northern part of Gaza and not in the southern part. Of course, we want to expand the operation to the southern part. After, we will see what is going on with the hostages.”
“I’m sure that you heard about the news about what happened on the last day. Hamas released 40 hostages and we hope that others will come home soon. About the main goals of the ground operation, the first one is to destroy Hamas infrastructure and military capability,” he said, adding that the main target is to destroy Hamas facilities and assist in the safe return of the hostages.
The conflict in Gaza escalated after the October 7 attack by Hamas, where about 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties and the seizure of hostages.
Israel has characterised its Gaza offensive as targeting Hamas’ infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terror group while making efforts to minimise civilian casualties.
Israel has received the list of Israeli hostages to be released today by Hamas as part of the extended truce agreement reached on Monday, The Times of Israel reported, citing the Israel Prime Minister’s office.
The Israel Prime Minister’s Office stated that the list of hostages is currently being reviewed and “notices are being delivered at this time” to the families of those set to be released after more than 50 days of being held hostage in Gaza. (ANI)

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