Ambassador Gilad Erdan
Ambassador Gilad ErdanUNTV

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, on Tuesday sent a sharply worded letter to the members of the UN Security Council ahead of the Council's closed-door meeting on the issue of the escalation in Gaza, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

In his letter, Ambassador Erdan made it clear that the State of Israel will not hesitate to neutralize any threat posed to its citizens and its forces, while always making sure to minimize harm to innocent civilians.

Erdan demanded that members of the Security Council immediately condemn the indiscriminate firing of rockets at Israeli citizens, which were launched from Gaza, and support Israel's right to defend itself.

“Last night, in response to the barrage of over 100 rocket attacks launched last week (May 2-3) against the civilian population in southern Israel as well as numerous terror attacks carried out against civilians, the IDF launched Operation ‘Shield and Arrow,’ a targeted operation against senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” wrote Erdan in the letter.

“Israel acted in a precise and limited manner against senior military officials in the PIJ who were directly responsible for facilitating attacks and launching rockets and missiles against Israelis, in order to protect Israel's citizens and thwart the planned attacks,” added the Ambassador.

Erdan noted in his letter that the Islamic Jihad “uses the citizens of the Gaza Strip as human shields - they hide their rockets among the civilian population, use private houses as situation rooms and fire from dense urban areas. It is a designated terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K., U.S., and Israel.”

“The operation was a targeted action against an active terrorist infrastructure, which posed an imminent threat. 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,” he added.

“I call on the Security Council to condemn the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians launched from Gaza, and to support Israel in our legitimate right of self-defense,” wrote Erdan.