Shalev: Israel will respond
Photo: Shahar Azran
WASHINGTON – Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, filed an official complaint with the UN Security Council Monday regarding the rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli towns.
The recipient of Shalev's official letter was Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's ambassador to the UN and the Security Council's rotating president.
Grad rocket that penetrated school's fortification was of a type rarely fired, with vast potential for damage. In total, seven rockets fired into Israel from Gaza Saturday
The Arab nations have permanent representation in the UN's Security Council. Libya, the current president, has been using its status to promote anti-Israeli resolutions, most significantly during its offensive in Gaza.
Shalev's letter followed a barrage of rocket attacks on the south, including two advanced Grad rockets fired from Gaza at Ashkelon Saturday. It was addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as the Libyan envoy.
"Since Israel declared a unilateral hold-fire on 18 January 2009, there have been nearly 100 rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip," Shalev wrote.
"These ongoing attacks not only hinder efforts to reach a stable and durable cease-fire, but they represent an ongoing threat to the peace and security of Israel, as well as the people of Gaza."
She reported that 12 rockets were fired at Sderot on March 1 alone, and that residents living in the southern city could not lead a normal lifestyle under these conditions.
Regarding Saturday's attack on Ashkelon she wrote, "Schools are closed and classes are suspended across Ashkelon which constitute a humanitarian problem."
"These attacks clearly demonstrate that Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups continue to undermine regional stability and seek to murder, injure, and terrorize Israeli civilians," the letter says.
"In response to these ongoing attacks, Israel has the inherent duty to exercise its right to self-defense enshrined in article 51 of the Untied Nations Charter. The government of Israel will continue to safeguard the security of its citizens and will ensure that the situation in southern Israel does not return to the status quo ante of December 2008. Israel will not tolerate, and will respond accordingly to attacks against its citizens," it concludes.