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I write to again draw your attention to the continued terrorism emanating from the Gaza Strip, which places one million civilians in southern Israel under the constant spectre of violence. Last Sunday, 1 January 2012, two mortar shells containing white phosphorus were fired from Gaza at an Israeli farm in the area of Eshkol.
These attacks continue a dangerous trend. In the past month alone, more than forty rockets and mortars have been fired into southern Israel, landing in the areas of Ashkelon, Sha'ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev, Eshkol and Be'er Tuvia. In these attacks, rockets struck the town of Netviot and exploded in close proximity to the major cities of Be'er-Sheva and Ashkelon.
Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization fully responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza, where it remains in de facto control. Israel has exercised and will continue to exercise its right to self-defence, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.
The situation in Gaza must be addressed with the utmost seriousness. Day after day, international law is flagrantly violated by the terrorists that operate with impunity in Gaza. In letter after letter, Israel has warned the international community about the dangerous potential for escalation. Yet, we still hear no words of condemnation from the Security Council. There has been no concerted effort in the international community to halt the fire of rockets into Israeli cities.
All responsible members of the international community have a duty to clearly and unequivocally condemn these attacks. The world must act now to prevent terrorism in Gaza from sparking even greater turmoil and conflict in the Middle East.
The Palestinian Authority also has a fundamental responsibility in this regard. Yet, Palestinian Authority President Abbas has still not clearly condemned these attacks. Instead of embracing Israel’s call for direct negotiations, President Abbas continues to move closer into his embrace of the Hamas terrorist organization. Each rocket that flies out of Gaza is an unmistakable reminder that Hamas is far from renouncing violence or accepting any of the other Quartet principles, which any Palestinian Government must accept.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.