The United National Security Council convened to discuss the events in Gaza, but failed to reach an agreement on a statement or action.
Libya, the current council chair, drafted a statement that would call on Israel to open its borders with Gaza and ensure "unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people," according to the AFP.
Israeli Chargé d’Affaires Gilad Cohen delivered a statement responding to the failure to mention the shelling of Sderot on behalf of Israel. The following are excerpts:
“The situation in the region today did not develop overnight. It is the consequence of many choices - repeatedly wrong choices - made by the Palestinians, to adopt terrorism and violence over peace and negotiations with Israel…
“[T]hey chose Hamas, who uses terrorism and violence to advance its vision to destroy Israel. Since the year 2000, more than 7,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Last year alone, that number was over 2,000. And since Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in June 2007, the frequency of rocket attacks rose 150 percent, to more than 250 rockets and mortars a month. This means, on average, one rocket is fired at Israel every three hours.
“Most of these rockets fall on the southern city of Sderot. Normal life in Sderot is a thing of the past. Not a day goes by when the Red Alert warning system does not sound, which gives children on playgrounds and in schools, and parents at home and at work, less than 15 seconds to find the nearest shelter before the next rocket comes slamming into their lives.
“Liora Fima, a Sderot mother and head of a local elementary school, knows firsthand the traumatic impact of these rockets on the youth of Sderot - where up to 94 percent of children suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, including sleep and concentration problems, and even bed wetting. Listen to her words: ‘For the children in Sderot, red is not the color of roses, but of blood and flames.’
“Why is the Council not concerned with the safety and security of Israel's children, women, and elderly who live in the southern city of Sderot? Why is the Council silent as they live in fear and panic each and every day?...
“I ask each Member of the Council: what would you do if London, Moscow, Paris, or Tripoli was attacked and fired on? Would you sit back and do nothing? I am certain that no member state on this Council - and certainly no country in the world - would be silent. And Israel is no different. It will act in accordance with its inherent right under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter to protect and defend its people. This is the very obligation and right of all States…
“The international community must make it clear that Hamas' actions are unacceptable, and that continuing to choose Hamas will only lead to continued suffering - for both Israelis and Palestinians. It is up to the international community to tell those states that initiated this debate, and those states that think singling out Israel and condemning it will bring about change, that Israeli security cannot be sacrificed.”
Later, in response to a speech by the Syrian delegate:
“It is the height of hypocrisy, cynicism, and indecency for the distinguished representative of Syria to address the Council and condemn Israel for merely defending itself against the very Hamas terrorists that it supports.”
Israel and US to Boycott Human Rights Council Meeting
Israel and the US plan to boycott a special United Nations Human Rights Council meeting to take place in Geneva Wednesday called to condemn Israel's blockade on Gaza.
This is the first time that Israel will have boycotted such a session.