Press Release: APN Condemns Gaza Rocket Fire; Supports Israeli Self-Defense; Urges Israel to Avoid Harming Civilians

Washington, DC –Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, supports Israel's right of self-defense and calls on the government of Israel to avoid harming innocent civilians as it retaliates for the rocket attacks.

Commenting on the current escalation, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:

"The escalating violence on Israel's border with Gaza is deeply alarming. Once again innocent Israelis are being targeted by rockets, while innocent Palestinians are caught in the crossfire as Israel exercises its legitimate right to self-defense.

"We unequivocally condemn intentional attacks on Israeli civilians by Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists and support Israel's right to defend itself in the face of such attacks. At the same time, we call on Israel to redouble its efforts to avoid harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip and to recognize the danger of escalation.

"The situation on Israel's southern border cannot be allowed to spiral out of control. As we did in the past, we urge an immediate halt to the hostilities, followed by a ceasefire. Such a ceasefire could open the door for a future political process, which ultimately is the only way to prevent future military conflict.

"While we strongly condemn Hamas' terrorism and hold it responsible for violence emanating from the Gaza Strip that is under its control, we advise Israeli officials not to buy into the illusion that Hamas can be obliterated, certainly not by military means. Furthermore, a power vacuum in the Gaza Strip is likely to result in chaos, which is definitely not in the national security interest of Israel, the United States, Egypt, or any other relevant parties.

"Long term security and stability, as well as sound international support for Israeli acts of self-defense – can only come as a result of a peace agreement that leads to recognized sovereign Israeli borders."