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November 20th, 2012
10:33 AM ET

Israel's Regev: We'd like to see diplomatic solution to Gaza crisis, says there's 'no doubt' Iran providing rockets to Hamas

This morning on "Starting Point," Soledad O'Brien talks with Mark Regev, spokesperson for the Israeli government and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She asks him about the latest developments this morning, namely that Israel ground offensive plans against Gaza were put on hold to allow for cease-fire negotiations.

"We would like to see a diplomatic solution, if that's possible," Regev says. "If it's possible to get the end of these incoming rockets on our people, if it's possible to do that peacefully, we're all in favor. We prefer a diplomatic solution."

"The bottom line for us is, we want peace and quiet. We want an end to these rockets that have been raining down on Israel from Gaza. It has to stop. No one, no government on this planet, would sit by idly and see its civilian population targeted the way the Israeli civilian population has been targeted. It has to end. It has to finish." Regev adds.

He also argues that Iran is supplying the rockets that Hamas is using to fire into Israel.

"The truth is on those rockets that are fired at Israel there are three words, "made in Iran." There's no doubt about that. We know that Hamas hasn't got the ability to make these sorts of ground-to- ground, very military-style rockets by themselves in Gaza. They're getting them from the Iranians. And they are in many ways a forward point for Iran in their struggle in their war against Israel," he says.

Rush transcript available after the jump.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

O'BRIEN: We were hearing air raid sirens that were going off right behind you just a few moments ago. Can you tell me about that?

MARK REGEV, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: At the moment I am stuck in the chair here in your studio so I haven't got more information to share with you except to say that the sirens have stopped and it appears life has gone back to normal. But the mere fact that Hamas shoots a rocket at Jerusalem it says more about them than it does about anything else. Shoot a rocket at this city, a city that's got Jewish neighborhoods, that's got Arab neighborhoods, that's got holy sites on all three banks, what does that say about them? They could just as easily hit anyone, anything. It really shows they have no sense of common decency of human values.

O'BRIEN: And I have to note that Wolf Blitzer just tweeted that Hamas rockets just fell in Behr Sheba and there are casualties. That is where he is reporting from.

You heard Jessica Yellin reporting just a moment ago, she was obviously on the whole ground offensive. We know Secretary Clinton is now en route to deal with Egyptian officials and Israeli officials and Palestinian officials. How long are you willing to put this hold on any kind of buildup toward a ground war, is it 24 hours? Is it days? Is it weeks?

REGEV: We would like to see a diplomatic solution, if that's possible. If it's possible to get the end of these incoming rockets on our people, if it's possible to do that peacefully, we're all in favor. We prefer a diplomatic solution.

Tonight my prime minister will be meeting both with the secretary of state he she arrives, and of course before that he has a meeting with the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. The bottom line for us is, we want peace and quiet. We want an end to these rockets that have been raining down on Israel from Gaza. It has to stop. No one, no government on this planet, would sit by idly and see its civilian population targeted the way the Israeli civilian population has been targeted. It has to end. It has to finish.

O'BRIEN: You know a minute ago we played some sound from Shimon Peres who sort of talked about two paths. He gave Egypt credit for helping to broker some peace, I think, is too strong to say, but be in negotiations and then he said the Iranians are the problem, they've been sending arms, et cetera. Give me a sense of what you think about what Egypt has been doing so for, and in their leadership on this front.

REGEV: Well, the president is exactly right. First point, obviously the Egyptians have a pivotal role to try to help us get out of this, to try to find a situation where we can have peace and quiet for our citizens, that they don't have to live in fear of an incoming rocket launch from Gaza.

And he's right about Iran, too. You know those rockets that are fired as Israeli civilians, it has to be stressed they're not firing rockets at military targets. They're firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities as we just saw here in Jerusalem. They're firing rockets and trying to kill just normal people going to work, going to school, they don't care about that.

And the truth is on those rockets that are fired at Israel there are three words, "made in Iran." There's no doubt about that. We know that Hamas hasn't got the ability to make these sorts of ground-to- ground, very military-style rockets by themselves in Gaza. They're getting them from the Iranians. And they are in many ways a forward point for Iran in their struggle in their war against Israel.

O'BRIEN: Mark Regev is the Israeli government spokesman joining us this morning. Thank you for talking with us. We certainly appreciate it.


Filed under: Israel-Gaza conflict
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Richardo Brown, A.A A.S. Phlebotomy Diploma Junior/Bachelor in Science

    Happy Turkey and Spiral Ham Thanksgiving Soledad,
    This will be a fine day Thanksgiving! Tho I'am now getting all the Turkey, dressing w/gravy, Spiral Glazed Ham, Hot Sweet and Spicy Chittlins and Hog Maws, Corn Bread staxs, Collard Green cooked in ham, sweet corn, will be short lived, that is, on Friday at 6:00am I will be at the DMC Cardio Vascular InstItute receiving a Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory operation at Harper University Hospital.
    Next Wednesday a MRI of my Kidneys and Adrenal Glands. All this and a Police Criminal Backround check for Davenport University's Winter 2013 Term starting January 7th, 2013.

    I hope that you and your news magazine team that I watch every morning celebrated a 'Nice Thanksgiving Holiday!!' and you pick up some weight for curvious hips and fat legs and big bust because Turkey and Ham is the Real Food!

    November 23, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse | Reply

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