Channel 4 5 July 2006
In a July 4th interview on Channel 4, Jon Snow, Israel’s deputy ambassador to the UK, Zvi Ravner, denied that Israeli strikes in Gaza were “collective punishment” for the capture of a 19-year-old soldier.
Mr Ravner said: “This is not just about the soldier, this is not collective punishment, it’s the culmination of one-year long action since we have withdrawn fully from the ‘67 line from Gaza and since then what we have got is a day in and day out rockets being fired into Israel.
“Now the Hamas government has to decide whether it is a terrorist organisation as we suspect or are they a government. If they are a government, there is a very simple and clear cut solution, let them release our soldier, let them stop the firing of rockets.”
Jon Snow asked if targeting civilians with “the most sophisticated bombardment ever subjected to a defenceless people” was an act of terror.
Mr Ravner said: “Please pay attention to the fact there was only one Palestinian casualty, we were very accurate.
“Is the Palestinian government happy about that? What would you like us to do, to send troops in and have bloodshed? We are trying our very best, we are exercising restraint.
“We did it to stop them smuggling out the soldier. It will restrict their possibilities of movement throughout the Gaza Strip.”