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Israeli envoy rejects claims of disproportionate response

NEW YORK (JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to the United States rejected claims that his country’s recent strikes represented a disproportionate response to Hamas rocket attacks.

In a conference call Tuesday with reporters, Sallai Meridor said such criticism of Israel’s actions is like "telling a lady who had to push a rapist and [is] caught by the camera pushing back the rapist that she was using disproportionate force."

Meridor added, "The context is that there is no occupation in Gaza and the context is that thousands of rockets have been launched from Gaza since we left."

Stressing the need to respond to Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israeli towns, Meridor noted that the IDF is selective in choosing targets.

"The vast majority of the people who have been hurt are terrorists," he said of Israel’s operation in Gaza, which as of Tuesday had left 350 Palestinians dead, including about 60 civilians, according to U.N. and Palestinian sources. "Can hitting terrorists advance the cause of peace in the region? My answer is absolutely yes."

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