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Justice Minister Raps Critics of Israel’s Bombing of Lebanon

July 29, 1981
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Justice Minister Moshe Nissim lashed out yesterday at critics of Israel’s bombardment of terrorist targets in Lebanon that caused civilian casualties. He claimed they were motivated by special interests, not human compassion.

“All those who criticized us have spilled innocent blood, purposely hitting civilian targets,” Nissim said at the opening of the fifth International Congress of Jewish Jurists and Lawyers here. According to Nissim, Israel bombed the headquarters of terrorist organizations because they were directly responsible for killing Israeli civilians.

“These headquarters are purposely set in civilian quarters to enjoy immunity,” Nissim said. “But there is a limit to immunity. We are the first to deplore the losses of innocent civilians but our prime duty is to protect the security of our own citizens.” He claimed that more than one Israeli soldier was injured in the recent fighting because of efforts to avoid hurting civilians.

Nissim also insisted that international criticism would not prevent Israel from exercising its right to protect its own citizens. The Congress, attended by dozens of legal experts from various countries, will close next Sunday. Its sessions today were devoted to the protection of privacy.

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