Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday issued a scathing criticism of a U.N. Security Council call for a ceasefire that focused on the needs of Gaza that could have been drafted by the public relations officers of Hamas.
In a phone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Netanyahu objected that the statement addresses the needs of a murderous terrorist organization, but not those of Israel. It makes no mention of Israel’s demand for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, a principle already established by previous interim agreements with the Palestinians.
“The statement did not deal with the harm done to Israeli civilians, nor to the fact that Hamas turned Gaza civilians into human shields,” he said.
Furthermore, he noted, Israel accepted a U.N. request for a humanitarian cease-fire three times, he said, while Hamas violated each one.
“They are continuing to fire even now at Israel citizens,” he said. “Israel will continue to deal with the terror tunnels, which is only the first step in demilitarization.”
Instead of having its money used by Hamas to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, Netanayhu recommended that the international community “should work to demilitarize Gaza.”
The Security Council statement adopted early Monday morning expressed “grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation in the Middle East as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.”
The statement “expressed strong support” for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.
The U.N. chief himself said on Monday that the obstacle to ending fighting was not terrorist duplicity but a lack of “political will.”
“It’s a matter of their political will. They have to show their humanity as leaders, both Israeli and Palestinian,” Ban told reporters. “Why are these leaders making their people to be killed by others? It’s not responsible, [it’s] morally wrong.”
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told the Security Council on Monday, “Your tax dollars are not being used towards education, civil services or development — they are being used to develop a terrorist stronghold.”
The Council statement was drafted by Jordan, the Arab representative on the Security Council.