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I write to express my serious concern in the light of continued terrorist attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip.
Yesterday, 8 February 2011, four mortars were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, exploding close to civilians in the area of Sha'ar Hanegev and causing damage to a vehicle.
These attacks represent an alarming trend; since the beginning of 2011, we have witnessed the launch of some 16 rockets and 24 mortars from Gaza into southern Israel. In the last week alone, terrorists in Gaza fired a Qassam rocket into the Israeli area of Sdot Negev and a total of eight mortars into southern Israel.
As I highlighted in previous letters dated 1 February 2011 (S/2011/49), 21 December 2010 (S/2010/652) and 9 December 2010 (S/2010/623), these attacks constitute a clear violation of international law and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness.
Israel expects the Security Council, the Secretary-General and the international community to firmly condemn all of these attacks, which highlight the very real security challenges facing the citizens and Government of Israel on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the continued attacks from Gaza constitute only one part of a multitude of threats posed to my country by terrorist organizations that cynically and deliberately operate among civilian populations.
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 has exercised and 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 the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.