Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

En route to Israel, Sheriff Lee Baca slams Hamas actions in Gaza conflict

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca called for the Palestinian organization Hamas to cease what he called indiscriminate violence as he flew to Israel today for a weeklong visit with key leaders, and to tour medical facilities that treat wounded police and soldiers.

Baca, who has trained with Israeli police and defense forces and deploys many of their anti-terror tactics in L.A. County, will visit southern Israel during his stay.

“The mandate of local law enforcement is to protect innocent people from intended criminal acts,” Baca said. “Suicide bombers or the launchers of rockets indiscriminately into civilian communities is the deadliest form of murder against innocent civilians. There is no political or military benefit to these criminal acts.”

Baca, a longtime vocal supporter of Israel, blamed Hamas for the ongoing conflict.

“Sadly, Hamas likes to tell the Palestinians that it was terrorism that brought Israel to withdraw from Gaza in 2005. I spoke to the minister in charge of the resettlement at the time, and I believe the truth tells a different story. And it is this: It was the hope for peace that led Israel to withdraw from Gaza. It is the terrorism of Hamas that compels Israel to reenter.”

-- Richard Winton

Comments () | Archives (4)

Good for him. I know there are people slamming the Mayor and local officials for speaking out similarly, but from a strictly public safety standpoint, like Baca says, no civilized municipality or state can accept a situation where a neighboring elected body chooses to launch missiles, rockets, bombs and sends suicide mass murderers into its territory. We wouldn't accept it from Baja or Canada, nor from armed gangs in L A County setting themselves on "rival" gang territories.

While it's a tragedy that civilians and children are dying in Gaza, that's a choice Hamas has made to garner it public sympathy, using them as shields and just because they perversely believe sending their children to "martyr themselves" is noble. From a public safety principle, they cannot be rewarded for their actions.

Israel is bombing innocent women and children as we speak. It's like saying the Germans were protecting themselves from the Jews, it's ridiculous. Israel has missles and tanks, Hamas doesn't.

early this week I listened to a girl how they in southern israel live in fear day and nite because of the hamas missles being shot at anyone within 3-5km north of gaza. she is a south african girl working on a kibbutz. she says that sometimes the alarms do not go off to warn them. so how would you like to live like that day after day. maybe israel should do what the returning jews did in joshua's time. clean the land of all inhabitance so that they could live in peace in the land that the Lord their G-d gave them. if they did not, the inhabitance were a thorn in their side. the jew is still G-d's ppl, they are not the children of the slavegirl, but of Sarah and Abraham. Genesis 17 verse 21. And I will make my covenant rise with "Yits'hhaq [He laughs]" which "Sarah [Nobelwoman]" will bring forth for you to this appointed time in another year, (AHRC-RMT) yes, the Jew is G-d's covenant people and we as Christains have been grafted in the olive tree made possible by the Jehoshua the promised Mashiach. (Romans 11 v17)

Why doesn't Sheriff Baca stay home and keep Los Angeles safe? Without visiting both Israel and Gaza, which he can't do, I don't see what he can do to make a judgment on suffering or advance peace for either side. Los Angeles would be better served by letting those in the US and international community do their best to resolve this conflict in a way that will prevent future clashes of this kind.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: