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Israeli UN envoy urges Security Council to condemn ongoing Hamas rocket fire

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan speaks at the UN in New York in January 2021. (Shahar Azran/ Israeli Mission to the UN)
Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan speaks at the UN in New York in January 2021. (Shahar Azran/ Israeli Mission to the UN)

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan has sent a letter to the Security Council calling on the top UN body to strongly condemn the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza and defend Israel’s right to defend itself.

“Hamas, an internationally designated terrorist jihadist group supported by Iran, is responsible for these murderous attacks. The indiscriminate rocket fire constitutes a double war crime: targeting Israel’s civilian population and launching the rockets from within Gaza’s civilian neighborhoods and institutions,” Erdan writes.

“Hamas is presenting itself as the ‘defender of Jerusalem and the holy sites.’ This is, of course, a lie. It is clear that Hamas premeditated this escalation in violence and terrorism and is happy to pay the price of casualties on both sides in order to strengthen itself politically,” he adds.

He points out that “Israel has taken far-reaching de-escalatory steps to prevent any unrest and violence [including] prohibiting the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day. Palestinian terrorists responded by ramping up their terror, firing hundreds of rockets and missiles at Jerusalem, as well as other cities across Israel.”

The ambassador concludes by stating that “the State of Israel is not interested in an escalation. However, Israel has the right and duty to defend its people and sovereignty and will continue to do so vigorously.”

For the third time this week, the UN Security Council will be convening an emergency session Friday to discuss the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza. This meeting, however, will be broadcast live.

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