Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, warned the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General of Hamas’ intentions to further inflame tensions in the region on Friday.
“Over the past two months, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad – supported and funded by Iran – have launched over a hundred missile and mortar attacks against Israeli civilian population centers while continuing to instigate violent provocations along the security fence separating Gaza from Israel,” Danon wrote.
“Hamas has also used kite bombs to ignite over 250 fires in Israeli territory. These arson attacks have torched over 2,000 acres of Israeli agricultural fields and have already caused over $1.4 million in damages,” he continued.
“Israel will not compromise on its security needs and will take all necessary steps in protection of our citizens and our sovereignty,” Danon declared. “The deterioration of the economic situation in the Gaza Strip is solely the responsibility of Hamas as it continues to divert the funds intended to aid the population and exploit it for its terrorist operations.”
“Despite the reluctance of the Council to do so last Friday, I once again urge you to clearly and unequivocally condemn Hamas’ dangerous actions. In the interest of restoring calm to our region and preventing further violence, it is essential that you hold the terrorist organization accountable,” he concluded.
Organizers of the so-called “March of Return” riots, which began on March 30, have called on Gazans to turn out on Friday to mark the 51st anniversary of the Six Day War.
Called “Naksa Day” (“Day of Setback”) by organizers, the memorial is typically held on June 5. This year, however, the riots were delayed until Friday, coinciding with the Al-Quds Day events in Iran.
On Thursday, Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets into Gaza, warning Gazans not to approach the security fence on the Israeli-Gaza border, and urged would-be rioters not to take part in the violent clashes with IDF forces expected to take place on Friday.
Last Friday, the United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution proposed by Kuwait and calling for the "protection" of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
China, France and Russia were among the 10 countries that voted in favor of the draft. Four countries abstained.
At the same time, the Security Council rejected a U.S.-drafted resolution which blamed Hamas for the violent riots on the Gaza border.