Israeli ambassador Mark Regev has defended Israel's actions at its border with Gaza after nine months of protests and violence, asking: "If we can't defend that border, what border would you have us defend?"
After a report on the crisis of medical care in the strip on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday, Mr Regev was interviewed and blamed Hamas for the death toll, saying the terror group was organising protests at what he called "a war zone".
Presenter Mishal Husain asked if he had any "qualms about the policies Israel is pursuing" at the border with the strip, where on one day in May last year 62 people died in clashes with the IDF.
Mr Regev said: "Everyone who knows anything knows it is a war zone. So why are you bussing women and children into a combat zone?"
"I'd ask you the following question: In Gaza we pulled out, we redeployed behind the 1967 line, which is, from the international community's point, the recognised border.
"If we can't defend that border, what border would you have us defend?"
Earlier in the interview, he said: "I don't want to see any innocent person caught up in the crossfire between us and Hamas."
He called the border fence a "combat situation" where "hundreds if not thousands of people, brought in by Hamas, paid for Hamas, are storming the border fence, trying to break it down"
When Ms Husain asked if Israeli forces should arrest people, he said: "We do arrest people when we can. But I think if you look at the film from those violent riots... It's clearly orchestrated by Hamas. The goal, as articualted by Hamas, is to break in and kill our people."