World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder reacts to Gaza violence

NEW YORK - Reacting to the deadly demonstrations on the Gaza Strip's border with Israel this week, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said:  “Hamas is fully responsible for the violent developments. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has hijacked the Palestinian citizens’ right to protest peacefully and brought bloodshed and misery to the people for whose welfare it claims to be responsible.

"By fueling hatred against Israelis and massive unprecedented violence on the border, Hamas has incited both innocent civilians and confirmed terrorists to commit acts of suicidal violence against Israel. The hallmark of the group is the cynical use of its own people, including children, as cannon fodder.

“Israel has the right, like all sovereign nations, to defend its borders from attack and infiltration, and to protect its citizens.

“It is critical to recognize the fact that Hamas is controlling and leading this violence, and endangering the lives of tens of thousands of its own citizens by pushing them to charge toward the border fence into the path of fire.

"We urge the international community to call for calm, and to ensure that the facts of this situation are disseminated accurately and widely. The lives of both Palestinians and Israelis depend on this," Lauder said.

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