Israeli spokeswoman Tal Heinrich clashed with CNN host Brianna Keilar over the ongoing Israel-Gaza war.
Heinrich emphasized Hamas’ exploitation of children in the conflict, while Keilar pressed her on the impact of Israel’s bombings.
Heinrich stressed that Israel did not initiate the war and highlighted the need to eliminate terrorists for the region’s peace.(Trending: Trump Releases Must-See Christmas Message)
“Our troops are finding, right now, on the ground, in certain neighborhoods in Gaza, pictures of children, women with guns, Hamas uniform tailored for children. And Hamas terrorists that we have arrested—” Heinrich began.
“Does that make the children justifiable enemies to you? Is that what you’re saying?” Keilar cut in.
“Does that make all of the children justifiable enemies to you? I mean, you’re raising the specter of them being used in military uniform.”
“This is not what I’m saying,” Heinrich shot back.
“I’m saying that a Hamas terrorist that we have interrogated has admitted in the interrogation that Hamas are exploiting children, they’re using them to transport ammunition. That is outrageous!”
“Where is UNICEF? No, of course not!”
“Tal, when you see those pictures coming out of Gaza, do you see why some people don’t have hope looking at those pictures?” Keilar asked.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Heinrich said.
“Well, we are in the middle of a war that Israel did not start, and did not want.”
“It is prosecuting it forcefully, and you see the pictures here,” Keilar said.
“When Hamas started this war — hope and peace and a better future for the region — that is the greatest enemy of terrorists. Once we eliminate these terrorists, we eliminate the rule,” Heinrich said.
“We hope that there will be other voices, pragmatic ones that want to work with us towards peace. This is what we want. We want to live in this region peacefully.”
“That’s what Israelis have always wanted. But first, Hamas must be gone, and then we hope that the Palestinian society will de-radicalize,” Heinrich said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed similar sentiments, blaming Hamas for the devastation and urging the international community to recognize Israel’s battle against barbarism.
“To render this cruel and cynical strategy ineffective,” Netanyahu wrote, “the international community must place the blame for these casualties squarely on Hamas. It must recognize that Israel is fighting the bigger battle of the civilized world against barbarism.”