A UN Security Council debate turned into a shouting match on Monday between the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors, who exchanged cries of “Shame on you!” over ongoing violence.
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon broke away from his address to the council and demanded that the Palestinian representative condemn acts of terrorism.
“Shame on you for glorifying terrorism!” Danon said.
“Shame on you for killing Palestinian children!” Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour shot back.
After being called to order by the council president, Danon once again turned to Mansour and hammered: “You cannot say it here. Palestinian children are looking at you right now.
“‘I condemn all acts of terrorism’: one sentence you cannot say. Shame on you for that,” he pressed on.
“Let my people be free! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! You are an occupier,” Mansour again retorted.
Before the ruckus, Renana Meir, whose mother, Dafna, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in January, addressed the council on behalf of the Israeli mission.
“It is difficult to express in words the deep pain and unbearable longing. This sense of loss breaks our heart and our soul,” she said. “With broken hearts we ask the international community for help. We hear those who say that terror is a result of frustration, and we ask — is there anything more frustrating than what we have endured?”
Dafna Meir, 38, was killed on January 17 when a Palestinian teen broke into her house in Otniel and stabbed her to death in front of her children. Seventeen-year-old Renana helped her mother fight off the terrorist, who fled after fatally wounding Dafna.
Twenty-nine Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October. Over 170 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.
The council debate took place as the Palestinians pushed for a UN resolution demanding that Israel halt the construction of settlements in the Palestinian territories.
The draft resolution is being negotiated with Arab countries and has yet to be formally circulated to the council, but the United States — which vetoed a similar resolution in 2011 — has said it “will consider all options” over the Israeli-Palestinian effort.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in an address that Israeli demolitions of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank were continuing at “an alarming rate,” reasserting that settlements are illegal.
The United Nations has voted in support of a two-state solution in the Middle East, with Israel and Palestine both recognized countries, and the expansion of Israeli settlements is seen as undermining that plan.
“Tragically, this solution seems more distant than it has for many decades,” Ban said.