International bodies who criticise the IDF for Palestinian deaths during protest marches adjacent to the Israel-Gaza border fence are “cynical hypocrites” who maintain a double standard for Israel and other countries involved in ongoing conflict situations, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday.
“We’re used to it,” Liberman told Army Radio. “Half-million people have been killed in Syria during the civil war there – 48 innocent civilians this weekend alone, including eight children. But nobody is calling for an investigation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Yemen, Libya, Sudan and other countries. Where is the Security Council? Where is the Arab League?”
“It is pure hypocrisy, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with ethics or values,” Liberman added.
Asked about the death of Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian journalist who died after attempting to film the clashes Friday by sending up an unmanned drone, Liberman said that Hamas has a long history of dressing members up as humanitarian workers, journalists and other professions that are normally exempt from attack. He added that Israel had pleaded with Gazans, via radio broadcasts and printed material in Arabic, English and Hebrew not to approach the border, and that doing so would amount to putting their lives in danger.
He also rejected Palestinian claims that the demonstration was led by non-aligned civilians, as well as individuals who were forced to take part in the protest by Hamas officials.
“They were all Hamas people, individuals who receive salaries from Hamas, both terror activists and people in administrative roles. You had 20,000 people there who depend on Hamas for their salaries.”
“We are prepared to keep our forces there for another two weeks, two months or even two years. We are also prepared for a two-front (on the Gaza and Lebanese borders) clash,” Liberman said.