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Israeli ambassador to U.S. says Iron Dome is preventing escalation

Friday, July 11, 2014 - 00:34

Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., says if it weren't for the Iron Dome missile defense system, there would be a need for more forceful action against Hamas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The Israeli ambassador to the United States told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday (July 11) that the conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza could be much worse. Ambassador Ron Dermer said what has prevented the conflict from escalating is his country's use of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which has been used to shoot down rockets fire from the Islamist Hamas movement and its allies in Gaza. "If our government did not have an Iron Dome, if we had missiles landing in our cities at a much higher rate than they are now, if we had high casualties in Israel, then the demands for the government to take action, very forceful action very quickly, would be much greater," Dermer said. "The Iron Dome actually gives the prime minister and the decision makers in Israel the time and space they need to effectively prosecute this surgical war against Hamas without taking much tougher action that any other government would take." The conflict has led to at least 96 deaths, most of them civilians, in Gaza, and all due to Israeli air strikes, Palestinian officials have said. Israel said it was determined to end cross-border rocket attacks that intensified last month after its forces arrested hundreds of activists from the Islamist Hamas movement in the occupied West Bank following the abduction there of three Jewish teenagers who were later found killed. A Palestinian youth was killed in Jerusalem in a suspected Israeli revenge attack.

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Israeli ambassador to U.S. says Iron Dome is preventing escalation

Friday, July 11, 2014 - 00:34