If someone shot rockets or missiles at your city, you’d want to shoot back. That’s how an Israeli diplomat who serves Indiana and the Midwest describes the situation between Israel and Hamas, the organization that is at odds with both Israel and the Palestinian government.
“Whether it’s something happening now or something that happened in the past, what they’re trying to do is to hit and kill as many Israeli civilians as possible,” said Dr. Daniel Aschheim, a diplomat with the consul general’s office.
He said Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., has launched more than a thousand missiles toward major cities in Israel, like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, killing people and destroying homes and public transportation.
“These rockets actually disturb the flow of life for thousands of civilians, who needed to run to shelter, including my family and friend, who I see every day and talk to,” said Aschheim.
You may have heard or read that the latest conflict is over real estate and a court case that could see Palestinians evicted from Israel. Aschheim said the conflict is on-going, and would happen regardless.
“So, this is just another excuse for them to try and shoot at Israelis.”
Aschheim said Israel’s defense tactics are to shoot back, but only at Hamas. One report said that a 13-story residential building was destroyed by an Israeli counter-attack. Aschheim said that Hamas gets a warning before those kinds of attacks.
“Israel warns Hamas before Israel comes and destroys a building,” he said. “Israel phones people there to avoid loss of life of innocent civilians. One side is aiming at civilians. The other side is trying to do whatever is possible to avoid civilian casualties.”
The Biden administration has pledged support for Israel, reaffirming that the country has a right to defend itself. Aschheim said Midwestern states have also been supportive.
“In America we’re getting a lot of support, support from governors, from the governor of Indiana and others, who are supporting Israel and its right for self-defense.”
He said he and other Israelis are praying for peace.