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Bloomberg Defends Strikes Against Hamas During Visit to Israel

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg is in Israel for a daylong trip to express solidarity with Israelis as their military continues its strikes against Gaza's Hamas rulers.

REPORTER: Bloomberg visited the southern towns of Ashkelon and Sderot, both of which have been targeted by Hamas rockets over the past several weeks, and met with New Yorkers who had immigrated to Israel. Speaking to CNN this morning from Tel Aviv, the mayor dismissed the criticism that Israel's response has been "disproportionate." He sought to put the situation in a New York City law enforcement context:

BLOOMBERG: If you're in your apartment, and some emotionally disturbed person is banging on the door and screaming, "I'm going to come through this door and kill you," do you want us to respond with one police officer, which is proportional, or with all the resources at our command?

REPORTER: Bloomberg also plans to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The mayor is traveling with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and with Long Island Congressman Gary Ackerman, who chairs the subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. He criticized Hamas for effectively using the civilian population as human shields by locating command centers in densely populated areas and firing missles from such locations.

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