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Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Visits St. Louis

Amb. Daniel Ayalon (photo from Israeli Embassy)
Amb. Daniel Ayalon (photo from Israeli Embassy)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Israel's ambassador to the U.S. defended his country's actions against Palestinian militants during a visit to St. Louis Monday.

Ambassador Daniel Ayalon addressed the annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

He says the cause of Palestinian statehood is just, but Israel has the right to defend itself against what he calls Palestinian terrorism. "We do have a dilemma about limiting Palestinian movement," Ayalon said.

"But what can you do? The dilemma really is, let's say, some infringement on human rights, on the one hand, but on the other hand we have human lives, protection of human lives."

Ayalon says the security barrier being built in the West Bank is beginning to deter suicide bombers. But a U.N. report released last year says the fence will cut Palestinians off from social services, schools and jobs.

Ayalon also said radical Islamic terrorists are a threat to Israel and to all of humanity.

He blamed the leadership of the Palestinian Authority for the recent violence, and said it's up to the Palestinian people to put new leaders in charge. "I believe [PLO Chairman Yassar] Arafat's ideology and tactics are no different whatsoever than Islamic Jihad or Hamas. They want to create one Palestinian state, Islamist state, and of course this we will never allow."