Danny Danon
Danny Danon Flash 90

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, told i24NEWS on Monday that a group of some 40 other ambassadors who visited Israel were “shocked” when they saw Hezbollah’s attack tunnels on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

The ambassadors to the United Nations landed in Israel last Thursday for a tour of the country hosted by Danon. On Sunday, the Israeli ambassador took his colleagues to the Lebanon border where they got a close look at one the cross-border terror tunnels discovered by Israeli forces recently.

The IDF recently concluded its Operation Northern Shield to foil the secret attack tunnels dug out by the Hezbollah terrorist group.

Danon told i24NEWS it was critical to bring UN delegations to Israel to see for themselves the situation on the ground and put a picture to the conflict discussed at length in the international arena.

“It is crucial to understand it because in the UN we speak a lot about Hezbollah, we speak about Iran funding Hezbollah in Lebanon, but there they actually saw Hezbollah on the other side of the border, they saw the tunnels, they saw the violation of Security Council Resolution 1701,” he said, referring to the UN-established ceasefire in 2006 after the Second Lebanon War.

Danon argued that bringing ambassadors to Israel would help garner support in the international body often admonished by Israeli leaders for its purported bias against the Jewish state.

He said that currently there is “a gap between bilateral relations and the multilateral arena”, claiming that “privately people acknowledge that Israel is doing the right thing, even admire Israel, but [not] when it comes to the General Assembly…”

Yet Danon said he remains “optimistic even about the UN,” arguing that there is a shift in the attitude towards Israel.

He cited the resolution proposed by former US Ambassador Nikki Haley to condemn Hamas which governs the Gaza Strip for firing rockets at Israel.

Although it failed to pass due to falling short of the two-thirds majority required for adoption, Danon called the resolution a “success” after 87 member states in the General Assembly of the UN voted for it. 58 countries opposed the measure and 32 abstained.

He said there were a few governments in Central America and Eastern Europe in talks with Israel to follow the US decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

So far only Guatemala, the Czech Republic, and Honduras have followed suit.

“The Palestinians are conducting a diplomatic terrorism, instead of negotiating, talking with us, with Israel or the United States,” Danon said, criticizing their refusal to engage with Trump’s long-promised peace plan.

In contrast, Danon said Israel would at least give the long-anticipated peace plan a look before dismissing it, while the Palestinians “want to decide the outcome of the negotiations without even entering the room.”