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Israel's Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Thursday sent an official letter to the United Nations Security Council and to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on them to strongly condemn the terrorist attacks from Gaza and to support Israel's right to defend itself.

In the letter, Ambassador Erdan writes: “Hamas, an internationally designated terrorist Jihadist group supported by Iran, is responsible for these murderous attacks. The indiscriminate rocket fire constitutes a double war crime: targeting Israel’s civilian population and launching the rockets from within Gaza’s civilian neighborhoods and institutions. Hamas purposely places its terror facilities in the heart of the civilian population, including within multi-story buildings, cynically using the local Palestinian population as human shields. In addition, Hamas is presenting itself as the ‘defender of Jerusalem and the holy sites.’ This is, of course, a lie. It is clear that Hamas premeditated this escalation in violence and terrorism and is happy to pay the price of casualties on both sides in order to strengthen itself politically."

Ambassador Erdan also pointed out that "Israel has taken far reaching de-escalatory steps to prevent any unrest and violence [including] prohibiting the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day. Palestinian terrorists responded by ramping up their terror, firing hundreds of rockets and missiles at Jerusalem, as well as other cities across Israel."

The ambassador concludes by stating that "the State of Israel is not interested in an escalation. However, Israel has the right and duty to defend its people and sovereignty and will continue to do so vigorously.”

Since Monday, more than 1500 rockets have been fired by Gaza terrorist groups into Israeli cities and metropolitan areas, including Jerusalem. Seven people have been killed and scores wounded.