Israel’s ambassador to the UN on Monday criticized a UN Security Council presidential statement that demanded an immediate ceasefire.
Ron Prosor called on the world to stand with Israel against terror, noting the absence of any reference to Hamas rocket fire in the statement, which was voted on by the council in a midnight session overnight Sunday.
The envoy spoke to journalists after the Security Council issued the call.
“The presidential statement [of the Security Council] miraculously managed to not mention the Hamas or rockets or Israel’s right to defend its citizens,” he said.
Prosor declared that he was appealing not to world leaders, but rather to the public’s common sense.
“Tonight I want to speak as the voice of reason to the citizens of the world who need to hear the unvarnished truth,” he said. “We have grown tired of the vilification and demonization of the only democracy in the Middle East.”
The presidential statement urged Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian cease-fire into the Eid al-Fitr period that began on Monday and beyond.” It said that the truce would allow for the delivery of urgently needed assistance.
“Don’t be misled by Hamas’s propaganda,” Prosor added, and compared Hamas to the extremist organizations al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Islamic State. “[Hamas] is also an extremist Islamist organization, with a jihadist ideology and a mission to eradicate Israel.”
The presidential statement also called on the parties “to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected cease-fire, based on the Egyptian initiative.”
Rwanda, the current council president, called an immediate emergency meeting Sunday night to approve the statement. The statement was drafted by Jordan, the Arab representative on the UN’s most powerful body.
Prosor cited the tunnels that have been dug by Hamas under the Gaza border with the intention of attacking Israelis.
“Hamas has abused the hundreds of millions of dollars donated by your governments to build these terror tunnels,” he said. “Your tax dollars are not being used toward education, civil services, or development. They are being used to develop a terrorist stronghold. The people of the world should be shocked by what we have uncovered in Gaza.
“Don’t believe the newspapers that claim both sides are equally to blame,” Prosor warned. “We did everything we could to avoid this conflict, but Hamas refused to stop the attacks.
“Every time the international community calls for a ceasefire, we cease and Hamas fires.”
Prosor went on to point a finger at Hamas allies Qatar and Iran.
“Make no mistake: Hamas is not working alone. It is funded by Qatar and Iran. Every rocket flying out of Gaza could bear the imprint ‘courtesy of Iran’ while every terror tunnel could have a sign ‘made possible through a kind donation of the emir of Qatar’.”
The ambassador repeated Israel’s message for ceasefire terms — that if it is quiet in Israel it will be quiet in Gaza — and called on the international community to stand with Israel.
“Stand with a nation that fights terrorism,” he implored. “Stand with good against evil, and for right against wrong.”
Presidential statements become part of the council’s official record and must be approved at a council meeting. They are a step below Security Council resolutions, but unlike resolutions they require approval of all 15 members.
The statement does not name either Israel or Hamas. Instead, it expresses “grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.”
The 20-day war has killed more than 1,030 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to the Palestinian health ministry, of whom the Israeli army says hundreds were gunmen. Israel has lost 43 soldiers, as well as two Israeli civilians and a Thai worker killed by rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza, according to the Israeli military.