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Less than 24 hours after an encouraging development related to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, we were reminded by the enemies of peace of the realities on the ground.
It is with grave concern that I write to you in order to inform you that shortly after 8.30 a.m. today, a Grad-type Katyusha rocket was fired from the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. The rocket landed in the major southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Less than four hours later, two mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip and hit the Sha’ar Hanegev region.
The continuous attacks against Israel are an alarming reminder of the dangers emanating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. While Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for these attacks, such dangerous provocations also serve as a warning that unimpeded arms transfers and smuggling into the Gaza Strip, as well as the subsequent attacks against Israel and its citizens, pose a grave threat to peace and security.
In response to the escalating threat of terrorism, Israel will exercise its right of self-defence and will continue to take all necessary measures to protect its citizens. These recent attacks on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip seriously violate international law and should be adequately addressed and condemned by the international community.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter distributed as a document of the Security Council. An identical letter has been sent to H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.