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I write to express my serious concern in the light of continued terrorist attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip.
Yesterday, 31 January 2011, three long-range rockets — including two Grad-type rockets — were launched from the Gaza Strip, exploding in southern Israel near the cities of Netivot and Ofakim and in the area of Eshkol. One of these rockets landed in the immediate vicinity of the site of a wedding celebration — fortunately, none of the many civilians nearby were injured in this explosion.
These attacks continue a disturbing trend; over the past month, we have witnessed the launch of some 15 rockets and 17 mortars from Gaza into southern Israel. Many of these rockets have exploded in the heart of civilian population centres, including numerous attacks on the City of Ashkelon — which is home to more than 100,000 people — and an attack on 8 January 2011 on Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which injured three agricultural workers.
As I highlighted in previous letters, these attacks constitute a clear violation of international law and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness. While Israel has taken a series of measures to improve life for the inhabitants of Gaza, terrorist organizations continue to operate in the area and attack Israeli civilians with impunity.
With a view to preventing further conflict in our region, Israel expects the Security Council, the Secretary-General, and the international community to firmly condemn all of these attacks.
Israel holds the terrorist entity in de facto control of Gaza fully responsible for all terrorist attacks emanating from the area. In response to these attacks, Israel will continue to exercise its right to self-defence, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.