Remarks by Ambassador Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

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January 23, 2024

Ambassador Gilad Erdan urged the Council to shift its focus towards addressing the real, significant security threats in the Middle East, which is suffering from “cancer”.

Noting that the Council’s solutions are equivalent to providing “aspirin for cancer”, he urged eliminating the root causes of the disease.  On that, he spotlighted the continuous threat posed by Hamas, which exploits international aid to turn Gaza into “a war machine”, as well as the “genocidal goals of annihilating Israel” pursued by Hamas during the 7 October events where over 1,200 Israelis were killed.

Describing calls for a ceasefire by Council members as “shocking”, he warned that any such measure would leave Hamas in power, allowing them to regroup and rearm while “Israelis will face another attempted Holocaust”.

Against that backdrop, he reiterated his country’s commitment to defending its future and criticized the international community for advocating for a ceasefire without addressing the root causes of the conflict.

Turning to a formula to end the bloodshed, he proposed that Hamas turns in those responsible for the 7 October attack and releases all hostages.

However, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are “a mere symptom of the true security threat in the region”, he said, accusing the Iranian regime of sponsoring terrorism and supplying weapons to Hamas and Hizbullah.

“This is an upside-down world, where the representative of a regime that publicly calls for the annihilation of the State of Israel is advising on how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said, questioning the Iranian Foreign Minister’s participation in Council discussions.

Warning about the potential spillover of the conflict, he said that it was planned and instructed by Iran, citing instances where Iranian weapons were used in attacks beyond the Middle East — including in Africa and Europe.

He then asked whether the Council will finally address the real threat to regional security, calling Iran “the architect of instability”.  That State murders its citizens while its Minister lectures the international community on the sanctity of human life.

If the Council continues to focus only on providing aid to Gaza — which is important but ignores the root of the dire threat to the Middle East — he warned that “Iran’s terror will reach all of you”.  “Our collective future will be a very dark radical Shiite future,” he concluded.

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