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Upon being informed of the terrorist attack earlier today (Wednesday, 21 November 2012) on Shaul Hamelekh St., the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality immediately dispatched an emergency crew – composed of representatives from the social welfare and education departments, the psychological counseling service and others – to the scene in order to assist rescue service and medical personnel who were already on site.

A representative of the social welfare department liaison unit has gone to the Tel Aviv-Sourasky Medical Center to assist the families of the injured.

Education department personnel have gone to schools and kindergartens in the vicinity of the attack site.

The municipal switchboard (106) is on emergency footing. Social workers and psychologists are being reinforced.

The public is strongly requested not to go to the attack site.

Israel has the right under international law, and a moral obligation, to act in self-defense, to defend its population and to protect its territory when under attack, as well as to take military action against the terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip.

The legal justification for the operation

Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have been waging an ongoing armed conflict against Israel, which has included incessant barrages of rockets and mortars towards the Israeli civilian population and other terror activities.

Israel has the right under international law, and a moral obligation, to act in self-defense, to defend its population and to protect its territory when under attack, as well as to take military action against the terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip.

FM_PRESDuring his visit in Israel from 29 to 31 October, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs called on Israeli officials for the development of economic and trade contacts between both countries and support for the accession of Latvia to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs met with the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, and extended to him an invitation from President Bērziņš to visit Latvia. Minister Rinkēvičs and President Peres shared the opinion on key importance of education and knowledge-based economies for the development of small countries. "This opens excellent opportunities for our future cooperation," Minister Rinkēvičs concluded. President Peres commended economic achievements of Latvia and expressed his support for strengthening relations with Latvia.

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz approved an expansive strike against terrorist organizations in Gaza. The IDF has struck long-range missile sites, updates to follow

5:35pm: The IDF has targeted a significant number of long range rockets sites (over 40km) owned by Hamas. This deals a significant blow to the terror organizations underground rocket launching capabilities and munitions ware houses owned by Hamas and other terror organizations.
The aim of targeting these sites is to hamper their rocket launching weapons build up capabilities.
The Gaza strip, has turned it into a frontal base for Iran firing rockets and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.
The IDF will continue to target terrorist sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against Israeli citizens.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Monday, 12 November 2012), made the following remarks at a meeting in Ashkelon with the foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel:

 "If an alarm is sounded, all of us have exactly 30 seconds to find shelter. This is the situation<http://www.idf.il/1283-17526-EN/Dover.aspx> in which one million Israelis find themselves in. That’s families, old people, children, babies – Including like the children who stand here.

 A million Israelis, including many little children, like the ones here, are targeted on a daily basis, by people who took areas that we vacated, that the Government of Israel vacated, came in there, and are now hiding behind civilians, while firing on civilians, firing on our children. A million Israelis…

 I don’t know of any of your governments who could accept such a thing. I don’t know of any of the citizens of your cities, who could find that acceptable and something that could proceed on a normal basis. I think the whole world understands that this is not acceptable. It’s something that the people of Israel can’t accept and it’s something that I, as the Prime Minister of Israel, I cannot accept it.

 So we’re going to fight for the rights of our people to defend themselves. We’ll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this. This is not merely our right, it’s also our duty, and it’s something that I think is understood not only by you, who are here in Ashkelon today, but by any fair-minded person in any fair-minded government in the world they would understand that it’s our right to defend our people, and this is what we shall do."