Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Gilad Erdan on Tuesday spoke at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, urging the Council's members to condemn the indiscriminate violence against Israeli civilians.
Erdan began, "Last Tuesday, Elisha Anteman, a seventeen-year-old who had just finished high school, was nearing the end of his shift at a restaurant near the town of Eli. This was Elisha’s very last shift. You see, he had been working there for nine months, he had saved up some money and made plans to spend his summer hiking."
"Last Tuesday was in fact Elisha’s last shift, but tragically, Elisha will not be taking a trip this summer. He will not be hiking. He will not be spending time with his high school sweetheart Maayan, with whom he discussed building a life together. He will no longer pick up any of his eight younger siblings from school, who he loved like the caring older brother that he was.
"Elisha will be doing none of these things, because Elisha, along with three other innocent Israeli civilians were murdered by Palestinian terrorists whose sole goal was to slaughter Jews.
"This is the heartbreaking reality that Israelis face every single day."
Erdan emphasized that, "From the start of 2023, there have been 1,337 rockets and mortars fired at Israel. There were eight stabbing attacks and an additional eight attempted stabbings. Eight ramming attacks were carried out, 68 explosive devices were detonated, and 157 terrorist shootings were perpetrated. These numbers are already higher than the one-sided UN reports that this Council receives, but I’m not finished. Since January 1st , 223 firebombs were hurled at Israelis, and – listen to this – 1,728 rock throwing attacks were committed against Israelis. Mothers driving their children to school, the elderly on their way to doctors’ appointments – as long as a car has an Israeli license plate, it is the potential target of Palestinian terror. But you don't get these numbers."
"From the start of the year, Israelis have been the victims of over 3,500 attacks and sadly, each day that number grows."
Erdan also stressed that, "Terror, violence, the murder of Jews – all of this has been normalized in Palestinian society... Palestinians are taught to hate. They are educated to murder. They are told that martyrdom and Jihad is the only way."
"And the reason behind this campaign of incitement is that the Palestinians are interested in one thing and one thing only – the destruction of the very notion of a Jewish State. This has been the case from well before 1967 and even before Israel’s establishment. Judea and Samaria has absolutely nothing to do with it."
"For the Palestinian Authority, not only is violence against Jews not condemnable – it is commendable! By law, the Palestinian Authority allocates hundreds of millions of dollars to murderers and their families – seven percent of its budget. This is far more than what is given as welfare to Palestinian families living under the poverty line. The Palestinian Authority rewards terrorists and incentivizes bloodshed. And it does so with pride."
Contrasting Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Erdan said, "In Israel, we condemn any kind of violence in the harshest terms and we take action against those who perpetrate it. Yet sadly, the Palestinian Authority does exactly the opposite. Not only regarding violence and the damage of property, but even in regards to the murder of innocent civilians, including children!"
Erdan also noted that Israeli building permits in Judea and Samaria "are not an impediment to peace, and the building will not stop."
"Israeli communities make up less than two percent of the entire area," he added. "Yet there are hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in these communities. And as shocking as it may seem to some of you, Israelis living in Judea and Samaria are human beings too, and they also deserve basic needs such as infrastructure and housing. The building there will not stop."
"What do you honestly expect Israel to do tomorrow morning?" he questioned."Do you expect us to simply give in to all of the Palestinians’ demands? To turn the hills of Judea and Samaria into terror rocket launchpads overlooking Israeli cities, just like what happened in Gaza? This is not an imaginary scenario. Just yesterday two rockets were fired from Jenin towards Israel."
Erdan concluded, "If this Council is so determined to find a path to reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians, then the time has come to harshly condemn the Palestinian Authority’s incitement and terror funding. And if this Council aims to truly fulfill its mandate, then it must confront the most pressing threats to global security, namely Iran and its dangerous proxies."