Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis addressed the French Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the first time a uniformed IDF officer has briefed the forum, saying, “The leaders of Hamas operate from inside Gaza, but are also here in Europe.”
By Lilach Shoval, Ariel Kahana and Israel Hayom Staff
IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French Parliament on Tuesday afternoon. It was the first time a uniformed IDF officer had ever briefed the forum.
Manelis mainly addressed the situation on the Gaza border, stressing that Iran was sowing ruin and destruction in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.
During his speech at the French National Assembly, the IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis explained how Hamas tried to manipulate a 7 year-old girl during the violent riots in the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/krCROQX2x3
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 4, 2018
“Israel is contending with and fighting a murderous terrorist organization that applies any available means to harm innocent children, women and civilians,” Manelis said in his speech. “I know you would not be able to tolerate and accept Hamas’ unfathomable brutality on your soil, not for one day.”
He continued: “The leaders of Hamas operate from inside Gaza, but are also here in Europe.”
According to Manelis, “Hamas invented a new weapon that looks like children’s toys, costs one euro, but has burned down more than 30,000 dunams [7,400 acres] of fields. As a spokesperson, I understand the power of the image and the difficulty in understanding the situation from remote coverage. These facts are exploited manipulatively for Hamas, which exploits the human compassion of the West for inhuman purposes.
“What is happening on the Gaza-Israel border is not like the demonstrations you know. Israel is on the front line of this war – it is not the last line. The terrorist organizations will not stop in Israel. They want to strike Paris, London, New York, Mali, Buenos Aires, and wherever they can sow fear and return darkness to the cities of light.
“Do not fall into the trap of Hamas – this is a military terrorist organization for all intents and purposes, and to this day it has killed many people in bus bombings and terrorist attacks, which, unfortunately, you experienced in 2015 and 2016. We are dealing with the same phenomenon – for us this is the Hamas terror organization, for you it is ISIS.”
French-Jewish MP Meyer Habib, who is deputy chairman of the French Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and also represents France’s overseas constituency including in Israel, also addressed the forum.
“The idea to bring in a representative of the IDF stemmed from the absurd situation where five in every seven spokespeople appearing before the committee attacked and denigrated Israel,” Habib said.
Those attacks, meanwhile, continued unabated as French MP Jean-Paul Lecoq, a member of the French Communist Party, told Manelis: “You are the representative of the military wing of a terrorist country.”
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