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Ambassadors defend both sides in Israel conflict 

israel's iron dome anti missile system intercepts rockets launched from gaza strip, as seen from ashkelon
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, as seen from Ashkelon in southern Israel October 10, 2023. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The situation in Gaza did not start on Saturday, as there were 17 years of oppression leading to the situation, the Ambassador of Palestine in Cyprus said on Tuesday, while his Israeli counterpart said that Israel is not fighting Palestinians but Hamas terrorists, who launched an attack on Saturday.

Asked by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) to refer to the situation in Gaza after the blockade by Israel, Abdallah Attari said that Gaza has seen 17 years of blockade of “2,000,000 Palestinians in an area of 45 square kilometres.

“It is, in other words, an area 200 times smaller than Cyprus”.

He added that “for 17 years, the Israeli apartheid government has created suffocating conditions for the Palestinians in Gaza.”

Asked how he saw the situation developing, he said that “we have repeatedly warned of the consequences of blocking the political horizon and failing to allow the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination and to establish their own state.”

He said that “Israel’s repudiation of signed agreements and non-compliance with internationally legal decisions have led to the destruction of the peace process… These are the reasons behind the explosive situation and the absence of peace and security in the region.”

In a separate interview with CNA, Israel’s Oren Anolik said nobody will hit Israel and get away with it, adding that they are at war, however they are not targeting the people of Gaza but the terrorist organisation of Hamas and they will win.

Anolik said: “Israel was viciously attacked on Saturday morning by this barbaric Palestinian organisation called Hamas. The horrific footage and images we saw coming from Israel are just unbelievable: shooting at people at a party, burning down houses and then shooting the families while they are trying to escape, taking children as hostages into Gaza, taking an 85-year-old holocaust survivor on a wheelchair into Gaza, executions of civilians, beheadings of people.

“This is a savage behaviour. This is something that every civilized person is shocked by when he sees all those horrific things. We were taken by surprise, there is no doubt about it. We are now at war. This is not a war against the people of Gaza, this is a war against a terrorist organisation which indiscriminately was targeting civilians,” he said.

He went on to say that “nobody will hit Israel and will get away with it. So, we are now preparing our forces, we are preparing our plans and we will go into this war and we will win this war against this terrorist organisation.”

Asked to comment on why he thinks Hamas hit Israel now, he replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. In recent weeks and months there were different efforts that were made, that Israel was part of, to try to improve the lives of Palestinians residing in Gaza.”

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