(AA) – British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that Israel had the right to defend itself when it launched Operation Protective Edge against Gaza in the summer of 2014.
“What I’ve seen is the attacks that take place on Israel and the indiscriminate nature of them… that reinforces to me the importance of standing by Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself,” Cameron said in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle.
The interview was published exactly a week before the U.K. general election on May 7, 2015.
He felt “very strongly” that equating the attacks between Israel and Gaza was “completely wrong and unfair” because “Israel is trying to defend against indiscriminate attacks.”
Operation Protective Edge killed 2,220 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 1,492 of whom were civilians.
“Obviously we regret the loss of life wherever it takes place, but I do think there’s an important difference – as Prime Minister Netanyahu put it: Israel uses its weapons to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons,” he said.
Cameron has previously described himself as a “staunch supporter of Israel” and in 2014 became only the second British premier ever to address the Israeli Knesset.
Last Monday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Israeli diplomats in London saying, “we have never had such a pro-Israel prime minister.”