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SWC: Talks with Palestinians Fruitless Unless Hamas Held Accountable for Rocket Barrages from Gaza

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the ongoing onslaught of Rockets targeting one million civilians in Southern Israel launched from territory controlled by Hamas.

"We should all be grateful for the assistance the United States has provided in helping Israel to deploy more Iron Dome batteries which have already saved countless lives," said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper founder and dean and associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center of the leading Jewish human rights NGO.

"However, there are basic lessons from these attacks that must be learned. First, Israel has every right and responsibility to protect her citizens from missile attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah, and the looming threat from Iran."

"Secondly, the unending attacks from Hamas-controlled territory prove, yet again, that the terror group is no partner for peace. They must be held accountable for what transpires from the territory they control and their failure to stop over 600 rocket attacks in 2011 and the current barrage against Israelis begs the question whether Israel should be forced to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas," they concluded.

Earlier today Rabbi Hier met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, (pictured) who is in Los Angeles on on the last leg of a ten-day trip to the United States. Rabbi Hier presented President Peres with the Center's Human Dignity award, presented only to heads of state. The plaque on the award read, "Presented to Shimon Peres, President of Israel, pioneer, statesman, Nobel laureate and keeper of the dreams of generations."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.