After Israeli UN ambassador Ron Prosor called on the UN to condemn Hamas and declare it a terrorist organization over the kidnapping of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded Friday that the captured Israeli soldier be released immediately and condemned “in the strongest terms” the reported ceasefire violation by Hamas.
Ban called on Israel and Hamas to show restraint and return to the 72-hour truce that collapsed after two soldiers were killed and a third apparently seized near the southern city of Rafah.
“The secretary-general demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier,” his spokesman said in a statement.
Ban said he was “shocked and profoundly disappointed” by the renewed violence, warning that if reports of the attack on Israeli soldiers were confirmed, “this would constitute a grave violation of the ceasefire,” the statement added.
“Such moves call into question the credibility of Hamas’s assurances to the United Nations,” Ban said.
Earlier Friday, Prosor had urged the UN to declare Hamas a terrorist organization in response to Goldin’s kidnapping.
Prosor said the international body should condemn Hamas for kidnapping the Israeli soldier, breaking a temporary truce and denying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, that it should urge the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, and that it should declare Hamas a terrorist group.
He added that the kidnapping proves Hamas is committed more to killing and kidnapping Israelis than to the welfare of the Palestinian people.
Remarking that Gazan terrorists have fired 3,073 rockets at Israel in the past month alone, Prosor asked how much more proof the UN needed that Hamas was a terrorist organization before declaring it as such.
Meanwhile Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office accused Hamas and other Gaza terrorists of “flagrantly violating” the ceasefire.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum retorted, “it is the (Israeli) occupation which violated the ceasefire. The Palestinian resistance acted based on… the right to self-defense.”
The United Nations has repeatedly called for a humanitarian ceasefire to give respite to civilians from fighting in Gaza that has killed nearly 1,500 on the Palestinian side, hundreds of whom Israel says are gunmen, and 63 Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the other. Eleven of the soldiers have been killed by Hamas terrorists emerging from cross-border tunnels.