OTR Interviews

Israeli ambassador: 'Hamas is committed to our destruction and we will defend ourselves'

Uncut: Israeli ambassador to the US says the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers has united his nation, is a reminder that Hamas is committed to their destruction


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 1, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Here in Washington, we spoke with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.


VAN SUSTEREN: Ambassador, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: Obviously, terribly disturbing news out of Israel and, you know, to even think of this chilling phone call that's now being played on Israeli TV from one of the victims.

DERMER: Yeah. It's terrible. This was (inaudible) crime. Essentially, you had three teenagers who were kidnapped and executed when they were just trying to get home back from school and for 18 days the people of Israel were united in the hope that these boys would be returned safe and sound to their families. And it was tremendous, the sense of unity (inaudible) that you felt the Israel and while we were united in hope for 18 days now we are all united in grief and there is a sense of national mourning in the country. It is very, very powerful but the people of Israel at times like this staying together.

VAN SUSTEREN: Prime Minister Netanyahu as most people expected says that Hamas will pay and will continue to pay. How do you know when to stop? I mean, what's the end point to this? We have been watching this crisis for so long in that part of the world.

DERMER: What we have to do is take action to protect our civilians. What we have in Hamas is a terror organization committed to our destruction. They fired thousands of rockets at our cities. They dispatched scores of suicide bombers against us. They perpetrated this crime. And Hamas is an organization that's not just your run of the mill organization. If a terror organization can be called that it's genocide organization. It calls for the murder of Jews worldwide. So, we have to take very strong action against Hamas. Hamas is committed to our destruction and we will defend ourselves.

VAN SUSTEREN: Hamas, which of course denies any involvement in the kidnapping and murder of the three, says that the gates of hell will open and I'm curious, you know, how this plays out. You know, Hamas now has threatened back Israel. And Israel has taken and Prime Minister Netanyahu is taking action. Where does this end?

DERMER: Well, it ends when the prime minister feels that he has restored security to the public. The prime minister and the security cabinet in Israel will have to make decisions that they think are necessary at this point, in the wake of this heinous act, this heinous crime against these three teenage boys to send a clear message to Hamas that this is unacceptable, so that they don't think about doing something like this again.

VAN SUSTEREN: Terrible pictures of three coffins of those three lying side by side, very tough to look at.

DERMER: Yeah. It's very hard. And I hope something else. Another message will be sent and that's a message to President Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian authority. You know, we appreciate the fact that President Abbas condemned the kidnappings. At the same time he is in the government with the kidnappers.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he doesn't condemn Hamas.

DERMER: Well, you know, we didn't condemn Hamas far from it. He's actually embrace Hamas and he's now in alliance. And he has a government that is based on alliance that he made with Hamas. And we hope that the international community will send a very strong message to President Abbas. They can thank him for condemning the kidnapping, but they should tell him, don't stand with the kidnappers, and those who executed these three teenagers, end your alliance with Hamas. He can choose either peace with Israel or terrorism. He can choose peace with Israel or a pact with Hamas. Unfortunately, he chose a pact with Hamas. We hope he will make a very, very different choice.