The commissioner-general’s words do not contribute to the cessation of terrorism, which is the key to improving the living conditions of the Palestinian population.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman’s Bureau)

The following is the response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the announcement by United Nations Relief and Works Agency Commissioner-General Karen Koning Abu Zayd on 21 November 2006 regarding the activities of the Israel Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip, in which she commented on the firing of "homemade rockets" from Gaza at Israel:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs utterly rejects the use of such unfortunate and misleading terminology, whose purpose is to dwarf the danger and threat faced by Israeli civilians by the daily firing of Kassam rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip.

At the very hour when the UNRWA commissioner-general found it appropriate to employ such an ostensibly naive concept as "homemade rockets" — a concept that reflects a forgiving attitude toward the firing of Kassams — an Israeli civilian was killed by such a rocket in Sderot.

The commissioner-general would do well to remember to insist that the Palestinian Authority honor the demands of the international community, which are anchored in a decision of the UN Security Council: to renounce terrorism, to recognize Israel, and to honor agreements signed with Israel.

The commissioner-general’s words do not contribute to the cessation of terrorism, which is the key to improving the living conditions of the Palestinian population.