Israeli Ambassador to Spain: "We are almost at war"

Rodica Radian-Gordon admits that the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians has reached an "extreme" and "unimaginable" situation
Embajadora de Israel

 -   Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon

The Israeli ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon, said Wednesday that the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians has reached an "extreme" and "unimaginable" situation, which implies that "we are almost at war".

"We have experienced dramatic situations in recent days, with very aggressive missile attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In less than an hour they launched some 150 missiles towards Tel Aviv," the ambassador pointed out today in a virtual press conference with the Spanish press.

The ambassador insisted that, had it not been for Israel's anti-missile system, which is about 90% effective, there would have been a "real catastrophe", since they were aimed at the urban centers of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, "two very clear red lines".

Radian-Gordon considered that the number of projectiles being fired by the militias - more than a thousand - is intended to "saturate" the missile defense system.

After weeks of tension in the streets of Jerusalem, Palestinian militias from Hamas and Islamic Jihad began firing massive rockets at Israeli cities on Monday, a "savage attack to which Israel cannot fail to respond," the ambassador warned.

Gordon clarified that the Israeli Army's response is going to be "very concrete, almost surgical", with very clear targets among Hamas militants, with no intention of harming the civilian population in Gaza and whose main mission is "to recover the situation of deterrence of weeks ago".

"No government of any country can afford such a far-reaching attack on its civilian population. What we are experiencing is truly a terrorist attack because half of Israel's population is threatened. And all of this has been out of proportion," the diplomat said.

The three days of violence between Israel and Palestinian militias in Gaza have already resulted in 48 deaths in the Gaza Strip - 14 of them children - and another six people in Israel.

Regarding the dead in the strip, the ambassador said that it cannot be affirmed that they are victims of Israeli aviation, since around 20-30 % of the projectiles launched by Hamas fall inside Gaza.

So far, the Islamist groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas have fired 850 rockets and at least two missiles at Israel, which has responded with more than 500 bombardments against targets in the strip and claims to have killed at least a score of militiamen, a "situation that there is no telling how much longer it can last," according to the ambassador.

The escalation of violence has also reached several mixed cities in Israel, where Arab-Israeli and Jewish communities coexist, especially in Lod, where riots and civil unrest have forced the declaration of a state of emergency.

However, the ambassador rejected that there is "a clear link" between the events in these mixed cities and in Gaza, since the violence of these days is "unacceptable and a threat to all", and believes that it responds more to the relationship of the Arab-Israeli population with the State and the negotiations to form a new government in Israel", in which the Arab Raam party is key.