H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
For the third time in the past week, I write to express Israel’s very serious concern about the rockets flying out of the Gaza Strip daily.
On the evening of 1 February 2012 – in the midst of your visit to our region – terrorists in Gaza fired 7 rockets into Israeli communities within the span of an hour. These rockets exploded in close proximity to the City of Sderot – and forced thousands of Israelis to spend the evening in bomb shelters. In the last three weeks alone, more than 20 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israeli cities and communities.
With your own eyes, you saw the threats facing one million Israelis this week. You met children from Sha’ar HaNegev whose school bus was struck by a Hamas anti-tank missile, killing their 16-year old classmate. You traveled to Sapir College, where students have just fifteen seconds of warning to take cover in bomb shelters in the face of falling rockets, month after month. You made clear during these visits that nothing can justify the firing of rockets toward Israel and that these deliberate attempts to harm civilians must be condemned.
With each rocket that falls, the explosive potential for conflict rises. The Security Council must finally address the dangers posed by these continued attacks with the utmost seriousness.
Israel expects the Security Council, and all responsible members of the international community, to condemn the rocket fire from Gaza without any further delay. We also expect President Abbas, and other leaders of the Palestinian Authority, to finally raise their voices and fulfill their fundamental obligations to clearly denounce these acts of terrorism.
Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization fully responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza, where it remains in de facto control. Israel has exercised and will continue to exercise its right to self-defense, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.
I wish to inform you that an identical letter has been sent to H.E. Mr. Kodjo Menan, President of the Security Council.
Allow me, Excellency, to renew to you the assurances of my highest consideration.
Charge d’affaires, ad interim