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As I write this letter, rockets are flying into Israeli communities without pause. In the past two days, Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 150 rockets into our homes, schools and cities. Terrorists in Gaza sparked this significant escalation of violence last Saturday when they launched an anti-tank missile at the Israeli Defense Forces.
The serious danger of an even greater escalation hangs over our very volatile region. Many Israeli civilians and soldiers have been injured. Damage to property has been significant. One million people in southern Israel remain under grave threat. The people of Israel cannot — and will not — tolerate these acts of terrorism. The Israeli Government has a right and a duty to protect its citizens.
Israel holds Hamas fully responsible for all acts of terrorism flowing from Gaza. Israel’s leaders have been very clear: we are prepared to take all necessary measures to protect our citizens from Hamas terror. Those who target Israelis with terrorism today will pay a very heavy price tomorrow. Israel has exercised — and will continue to exercise — our right to self-defence.
At this critical moment, responsible members of the family of nations have an unmistakable duty. All Security Council members that truly value peace and security will send a very clear message to Hamas without delay. The time for the Security Council to condemn Hamas terrorism with one voice is now, before it is too late.
The Palestinian leadership also has a fundamental responsibility to clearly condemn Hamas terrorism. The silence that continues to echo from President Abbas’ office speaks volumes.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council.