Hamas is trying to bring an Israeli presence back into Gaza by provoking the government into action with its Qassam attacks on civilians, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman told the Security Council Tuesday.
Because of the worsening security situation and infighting in Gaza, "Hamas fires its rockets to kill Israeli women and children, while cynically trying to provoke Israel’s reaction and...thereby blame the common enemy of the Palestinian people, which – as Palestinians are brainwashed from childhood to believe – is Israel.
"The international community has accepted this situation for far too long. Too many excuses have been made. But we know there can be no excuses. Enough is enough," said Gillerman.
"We often hear the international community refer to terrorism as a 'global phenomenon requiring a global response.' Yet sometimes the absence of international outcry to the terror that Israel faces shows a disconnect between rhetoric and reality."
Gillerman emphasized Israel's right to self-defense, saying it would behave as any other nation would "if placed in the same intolerable situation."
In his call for international action, he drew a parallel between Gaza chaos and Hizbullah terror, emphasizing terror-supporters such as Syria and Iran. "Despite the resolve of this Council, Hizbullah is rearming," he said.
"Weapons are moving across the border between Syria and Lebanon, in violation of the embargo and in violation of resolution 1701. The weapons, we know, are a gift from Iran, and travel through Syria to the hands of Hizbullah.
"For this and more, Iran and Syria have earned themselves an unholy reputation as exporters of terror...While the international community seeks measures to enhance peace and security, Iran and Syria seek to increase hostilities and insecurity by giving weapons to its terrorist proxies and spreading its destabilizing influence," Israel's envoy said.
A clash between moderates, extremists
"Iran and Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah, represent one side of a clash that is working to destabilize our region – and indeed the entire world."
Gillerman cited a "clash of civilization" among moderate and extreme Muslims. "These are warring forces within Muslim civilization. They are battling for the soul of Islam. They are battling for the hearts and minds of the region. The extremists use terror to intimidate and indoctrinate," Gillerman said.
"Therefore, today more than ever, it is the duty of the international community to embolden the moderates and isolate the extremists. While the international community cannot dictate the outcome of this clash, it can decide how to relate to the different actors."
As such, Gillerman called on the international community to continue exerting pressure on Hamas to accept Quartet preconditions vis-a-vis Israel, namely, recognition of the State, renunciation of violence and acknowledgement of previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian leadership.
"The Quartet’s conditions – to recognize Israel, renounce violence and terror, and abide by previous agreements – are integral to ensuring that a future Palestinian state is one that is founded on the basis of good governance and democracy," he said.
The envoy praised a number of international counter-terrorism efforts by the UN, among them the Global Counter-terrorism Strategy, the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1540 committee in combating international terrorism.
He emphasized, however, that while "a good, first step in the right direction, as with all policy initiatives, the implementation remains the most crucial component" to such efforts.