Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Gillerman took advantage of the monthly UN discussion on the situation in the Middle East Thursday to warn the members of the Security Council on the threat posed by Iran. Gillerman said Iran paid Hamas USD 50 million in order to torpedo efforts to release Gilad Shalit.
"Today I learned that Iran had paid USD 50 million to Hamas in order to torpedo the deal to the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. If Iran is willing to pay so much money to solve a humanitarian issue, it is frightening how much they will be willing to pay to torpedo any diplomatic initiative to block their nuclear efforts," Gillerman said, referring to an item first published by Yedioth Ahronoth Thursday morning.
Although the speech was part of a routine discussion held monthly at the UN, this time it was held before the Security Council. During the meeting, UN special envoy to the Middle East Alvaro de-Soto presented his report and said that since the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit in late June, 295 Palestinians were killed by IDF forces, including 66 children, and another 1,113 were injured.
During his speech Gillerman praised the decision to impose sanctions on North Korea but warned that "North Korea is only the prelude to a more disturbing story, the emergence of a nuclear Iran, armed and willing to share its state terrorist capabilities with the other unholy extremists who yearn to destroy us."
He added that "Israel sees the Iranian threat as an existential one, not solely to itself but to the entire world as well. The international community must be determined, clear, and unequivocal in its plan of action. There is only one choice: the world must ensure that Iran does not attain nuclear weapons."
'Are you doing everything you can?'
Gilerman added that although the real, most urgent threat to stability and peace in the Middle East is Iran, "We are bolstered by the surfacing of moderate voices in the region, voices that recognize the true threats facing us.
"Now these moderates are joining together to form an alliance against the extremists and for a historical reconciliation and mutual advancement."
Ambassador Gillerman also criticized the fact that the kidnapped IDF soldiers have not been freed yet and the failure to enforce the arms embargo from Syria into Lebanon.
Gillerman added that two and a half weeks after the last Israeli soldier left southern Lebanon, the situation along the northern border has begun to stabilize, but it is still early to declare it as a success.
"Success will be determined only to the extent to which resolution 1701 is fully implemented. There is reason to be concerned about the smuggling of arms across the border between Lebanon and Syria. Hizbullah’s rearming not only violates the essence and strength of resolution 1701, it places the entire region in immediate peril. There can be no ambiguity in policy here. The embargo must be enforced, and its violators must be held accountable," he said.