Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) spoke this morning with Yaron Sideman, Consul General of Israel to the Mid Atlantic Region on the escalating situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Consul General Sideman noted that currently, millions of Israeli citizens are under fire from Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip. Rockets are now reaching past the southern towns, into Israel's larger metropolitan areas like Rishon LeZion and Tel Aviv.
Over the last two days, more than 260 rockets have been fired into Israel, killing three civilians in the city of Kiryat Malachi, and wounding a number of Israelis who had taken shelter in a house and a school in the city of Ashdod.
Following the call, Fitzpatrick expressed his continued support for Israel and its citizens, declaring that "I strongly condemn Hamas' campaign of terror aimed at Israel, and demand that those responsible end this senseless aggression immediately."
Since 2009, more than 2,500 rockets have been fired at Israel. These rockets often target civilian population centers, including hospitals, schools and shopping malls. With the deployment of the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, the IDF has managed to successfully intercept over 85% of these missiles.
Fitzpatrick concluded, declaring that "the Israeli people must know that America stands with them. I will continue to avidly support Israel's right to defend itself as the men and women of the Israeli Defense Force work to prevent any further civilian casualties."
In 2005, Israel ended its military and civilian presence in Gaza, which Hamas now controls. Israel has recently launched defensive operation Pillar of Defense in response to the ongoing Hamas assault on Israel's civilian population.
The U.S. State Department today issued its own statement writing that, "Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination."