Statement by Ambassador Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, at the UN Security Council Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question

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29 December 2023,

Ambassador Gilad Erdan said he was shocked to be sitting in the Council Chamber today, shocked by the focus of this briefing, by the blatant lies being spread and the utter dissonance from the reality on the ground.  But, most of all, he said, he was “shocked by this Council’s willingness to waste its time focusing on such a marginal, extremist phenomenon while the whole region is on fire”.

The true reason for this raging fire is ignored, he said, noting that rockets are continually being fired at Israel.  Yet, these brazen attacks on civilians do not warrant an urgent briefing here in this Council.  “Is this violence occurring magically on its own?”, he asked.  “Is it not clear that genocidal terrorists are seeking to murder Israeli citizens every single day?  This Council is quick to show solidarity with civilians across the Middle East so long as they are not Israelis.”

When it comes to innocent Israeli civilians being targeted every day, why is this Council silent and why has it not condemned the rocket fire from Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, he asked.  The situation is reaching a point of no return and if these attacks persist, Israel will ensure these acts of terror stop.  “Why have you not spoken up?”, he asked.  “Why is it that the UN remains silent in the face of terror only when it is directed against Israel?”

He noted that 50,000 Israeli civilians have been displaced along the northern border because of Iranian-backed attacks by Hizbullah from Lebanon — attacks that are a flagrant violation of Israeli’s sovereignty and international law and Security Council resolutions, especially resolution 1701 (2006).  “If these attacks continue […] the situation will escalate and may lead to a full-scale war,” he said, adding that Lebanon must be held accountable.  “Israel will defend itself,” he said.

Israel is currently fighting a war for its very future against genocidal Hamas terrorists, he said.  Eighty-four days after 1,300 Israelis were butchered and with 129 people still being held hostage in Hamas’ terror tunnels, this Council has not even condemned the Hamas Nazi attacks.  “Does this Council truly believe that the disgraceful act of a handful of extremists — Israeli extremists —are the true roadblock to a solution?  Is this the topic that the Council should be focused on today?”, he asked.  He said Israel’s police force is cracking down on acts of violence which are mostly damage to property.  Meanwhile, rockets are raining down on Israel’s north and south, and entire families have been burned alive by Hamas-ISIS.

There were no Israelis in the West Bank in 1948 nor in 1967, yet the Palestinians and Arab countries still sought to annihilate Israel.  “Do you not see the absurdity?  When will you address the true obstacle to peace in our region?”, he asked, adding that, last week, there were four instances of extremist violence against Palestinians.  “If you look at the numbers over the past three months, it is clear that extremist violence is de-escalating, contrary to the focus of this briefing,” he said.  Israel condemns every act of violence.  And severe action is being taken to combat it.  Arrests have been made and Israel makes every effort to bring perpetrators to justice.  But, it is marginal issue — and it is in decline, he said.

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