'Nothing To Do With Us': Israel Is Not Responsible For Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis, President Says

Sky News' Middle East correspondent interviewing the Israeli president
Sky News' Middle East correspondent interviewing the Israeli president

Sky News' Middle East correspondent interviewing the Israeli president

The president of Israel told Sky News on Sunday that “most of Gaza is functioning” and distanced his country from the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory.

More than two weeks ago, Palestinian militants Hamas launched an unexpected attack on Israel, taking hundreds of people hostage and killing many others.

Israel immediately declared war and announced a complete siege on the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip where Hamas are based. That meant food, electricity, water and fuel were cut off.

Since then, 1,400 citizens in Israel have been killed. Palestinian authorities say more than 4,300 citizens in Palestine have also been killed.

Following widespread calls from the international community, Israel has agreed to let some aid into Gaza. 

Speaking to Israel’s president Isaac Herzog, Sky News’ Middle East correspondent, Alistair Bunkall, pointed out: “The severing of medical supplies and electricity is having an incredibly profound effect [on Gaza].”

Herzog replied: “It’s not us who are severing.”

Bunkall cut in: “It’s having a very profound on the ability of those hospitals to operate.”

The president replied: “That’s part of the distorted information. It was Hamas missiles which broke down the electricity infrastructure in Gaza. Nothing to do with us.

“Water, we supply only 7% of the water. It’s a Hamas operation.

″There is fuel for the humanitarian need.”

He continued: “We are following very closely the humanitarian situation on the hour. Most of Gaza in fact, is functioning. There are areas that are under battle.

“This is a real tragedy but how does the world want...”

Bunkall insisted: “We can’t say Gaza in functioning.”

Herzog replied: “How does the world cope?”

As he repeated his claim that information out of Gaza is distorted, Bunkall pointed out that Sky has its own trusted team on the ground in the war zone.

The president replied: “The problem is of course that part of the infrastructure and part of the aid is highjacked by Hamas.”

″That’s the issue. Guys, it’s very easy to blame Israel,” Herzog hit back, raising his voice.

He said: “Let’s just remember where we were, how we happened, and how we have the right to defend ourselves when a missile that flies 250km straight into Israel comes from people’s living rooms.

″That’s the situation we’re faced with. No other country is faced with that and had any nation been faced with that, believe me, they would have done the same.”

The war in Israel has shifted into the information sphere too, with both sides making claims which external parties have struggled to verify.