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Israel, Hamas confrontation spills into diplomatic arena

As the Israel-Hamas campaign intensifies, so does the public diplomacy campaign waged by Israel’s Foreign Ministry on the international arena.
The United Nations Security Council meets to hear from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN, New York, Feb. 11, 2020.

Israel suffered through another night of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said this morning it had identified some 130 launchings of rockets and mortar shells from Gaza. Several buildings in the south of Israel and in the central town of Petah Tikvah were directly hit. A six-year-old boy was killed in Sderot when a rocket hit the family’s apartment. In parallel, the IDF continued to strike Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets, announcing this morning it had destroyed the majority of rocket-manufacturing sites in the Gaza Strip. The army also said it had destroyed in the pre-dawn hours several key buildings of Hamas, including its central bank, its internal security headquarters and the home of a top Hamas commander.

In parallel to the military campaign waged by the IDF, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been waging a diplomatic war, with headquarters in Jerusalem and all its missions abroad mobilized. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat has been working around the clock for several days. On May 12, he addressed the Indian media, expressing Israel’s condolences over the killing of Indian national Soumya Santosh by a Hamas rocket. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has been talking to colleagues around the world in recent days, including British Dominic Raab, German Heiko Maas and Portuguese Augusto Santos Silva, to explain Israel’s position.

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