IDF spokesman verbally attacked during speech to French MPs

IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis said the outbursts were “not based on facts, but rather on pre-conceived notions.”

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

During a talk describing Iran’s inimical influence in Gaza and elsewhere before France’s Foreign Affairs Committee, IDF spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis was verbally attacked.

One of Manelis’ hosts shouted that he is “a representative of the military arm of the terrorist state called Israel.”

During an interview on Army Radio, Manelis acknowledged that there were outbursts “not based on facts, but rather on pre-conceived notions.”

The spokesman said that overall it was a respectful meeting and that he tried to answer “politely and factually.”

The two hours that he spent explaining Israel’s position regarding the Hamas terrorist organization’s connection with Iran provided a “unique” opportunity to present a picture of what has been happening in Israel in a very detailed manner and from diverse aspects – as well as to hear what the parliamentarians had to say “and answer them,” he said.

“Among some of the representatives, there’s a huge gap [of knowledge] about what’s happening in the Middle East in general and in Israel and the Gaza Strip in particular,” he said.

Manelis stressed that one of the most important things he did during the session was to expose the connections between all of Iran’s “terrorist tentacles.”

For example, he told the French, “Iran sends 100 million dollars each year to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and this is above and beyond their support of Hezbollah and their direct activities in Syria.”

Furthermore, “the money has one purpose: to build military capabilities for the purpose of carrying out terror attacks. Every place that Iran and [Quds Force head Qassem] Suleimani have touched has seen destruction and devastation — in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, and in Gaza.”

He also made it clear that in contrast to the sympathetic way most media around the world, including in France, has portrayed Hamas’ activities against Israel over recent months, this is not even close to the truth.

“To call what’s happened in Gaza ‘protests’ is a mistake,” he stated, referring to the violence at the Israel-Gaza border over the past few months.

“These are actions whose purpose is to carry out terrorism,” he declared. “We have unequivocal intelligence information according to which they planned to kill and kidnap soldiers and infiltrate Israeli towns. We can’t allow terrorists, even if they are dressed in civilian garb, to reach Israeli citizens and harm them.”

The spokesman’s condemnation of Hamas was unequivocal.

Gaza is “the capital of terror, darkness and killing. Instead of a success story, we have here a story of failure and repression. Not only does Hamas not allow human rights, it even chooses not to invest in its own people, so unemployment in the Strip is skyrocketing,” Manelis stated.