Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan addressed the UN Security Council today during a meeting on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ambassador Erdan referred to today’s significance, the Ninth of Av, “It is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It is a day of solemn mourning. A day of fasting and prayer during which we commemorate the destruction of both our Temples… today Jews can only pray at the Temple’s only remaining structure – the Wailing Wall. But, thank God, Jewish sovereignty has once again returned to the Jewish homeland and above all, to Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”
The Ambassador spoke about the recent operation in Jenin, “Over the past years, Jenin – and its ‘refugee camp’ in particular…has become a hotbed for terrorist activity. It is a place ruled by designated terror organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It is where so many of the recent deadly terror attacks – over 50 – were planned and carried out from, and it is a city of refuge for terrorists on the run…So, I ask, what would you do?…Any military expert would tell you that this is a remarkable achievement that defies all odds. Israel does everything possible in order to avoid collateral damage and civilian casualties...So, imagine my shock when, rather than commending Israel for uprooting terrorists with surgical precision, the Secretary-General condemned only Israel, making claims completely detached from reality. Rather than lambasting the terror organizations for exploiting innocent Palestinians and murdering Israelis, he panned Israel for defending itself.”
Ambassador Erdan referred to the existence of "refugee" camps in the Palestinian Authority, “…how can it be that after so many decades there are still refugee camps inside Palestinian cities?…have you ever stopped to ask yourselves why the descendants of descendants of Palestinian refugees are still living in refugee camps? Why have they not been integrated into Palestinian society? What is the reason for this? We are talking about camps in Palestinian cities! If the PA’s main goal is truly to establish an independent state, then these second and third generation refugees would be living in regular Palestinian cities and not camps. But this is not the Palestinians’ goal. Their goal is the annihilation of the Jewish State. And one of their weapons to achieve that goal is brainwashing generation after generation of Palestinians that Palestinian cities are not, and will not be, their homes. After all, they are still ‘refugees.’ Their home is in Israeli cities such as Haifa, Tiberias, Safed, and many others.”
Ambassador Erdan referred to UNRWA as the key agency in perpetuating the notion of "Palestinian refugees" and the conflict. Ambassador Erdan said, “Let me be clear: there is no ‘right of return.’ You all know this. The demand of returning millions of descendants of refugees is a demand to obliterate the Jewish people’s right to self- determination, and this will never happen.”
In his speech, the Ambassador referred to the real obstacles that must be removed for reconciliation with the Palestinians and noted that if the UN had assisted in efforts to pressure Hamas to return the bodies of Israel Defense Forces soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and Israeli civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayyed who are held captive by the terror organization, it could have helped to improve the situation of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.