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Gillerman. 'Severe Provocation; Photo: Yaron Brener
Gillerman. 'Severe Provocation; Photo: Yaron Brener
Hamas continues to fire rockets Photo: AFP
Hamas continues to fire rockets Photo: AFP

There is a limit to Israel's restraint, Gillerman says

Ambassador to UN tells Security Council that when Israel decides to respond to terror, response will be painful; calls Qassams fired on Independence Day 'a severe provocation'

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 04.25.07, 21:28 / Israel News

WASHINGTON - The world must not interpret Israel's restraint as an acceptance of the situation, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman said Wednesday during the Security Council's monthly meeting on "the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question."


Lynn Pascoe, who heads the Department of Political Affairs at the UN, warned against "the violence between Israel and the Palestinians" and noted that in the past month there were 69 violent clashes between the two sides, which resulted in the killing of 21 Palestinians and in arrests.


PM's Response
Olmert warns Hamas over Qassam fire / Ronny Sofer
Officials at Prime Minister's Office say following security discussion, 'Israel will not hesitate to take harsh steps against those attempting to harm its sovereignty by firing missiles at our territory, by attempting to hurt soldiers and through other means'
Full story

In his report to the Security Council, Pascoe attempted to present the diplomatic progress made in terms of the Saudi initiative and the Palestinian unity government, but Ambassador Gillerman asked the Council to "return to reality."


"That harrowing reality was seen yesterday when Hamas, by its own account, launched more than 28 Qassam rockets and 61 mortar shells at Israel. The rockets detonated across a large area of land, and as far north as the city of Ashkelon.


"These attacks, which came as Israelis woke up to celebrate Independence Day, were nothing short of an act of severe provocation. 


"Later in the day, we learned that Hamas’s fierce rocket fire was just a front, to divert attention away from its truly evil plans, to kidnap an Israeli soldier. Thankfully, the IDF thwarted the kidnapping."


Gillerman dismissed Hamas' declaration that the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was over.


"Since the ceasefire began at the end of November 2006, Israel has continually exhibited restraint to the more than 200 rockets fired at it by Palestinian terrorists. Israel always reserves the right to defend itself and its people, as enumerated in article 51 of the United Nations Charter, and will do so if the attacks do not stop," he added.


The Israeli ambassador sought to present the Security Council with the true colors of the Hamas-led unity government.


"Israel needs no further evidence to know that Hamas’s ways are not the ways of peace. Hamas has shown it will not stop its campaign of terror until its unholy ambitions of destroying Israel are fulfilled. Nothing – no initiatives, summits, or declarations – can take the place of an end to Palestinian terror."


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