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Briefing By Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi To Foreign Diplomats


19 May 2021

I want to thank those countries
that have supported us
since the start of the
rocket fire by Hamas and backed our right to defend
our citizens
.

I want to thank the
US
on their uncompromising support and their
support in the UN, including in conversations with
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
.

I also
want to thank our friends in Europe for
their support and show of
solidarity
.

And a thank you to all
the ambassadors
who are joining by Zoom, for all
your work with the governments of the countries that you are
based in.

This time it is different!
Hamas instigated the current escalation in
an attempt to seize control of the Palestinian
agenda
, and to weaken and replace the Palestinian
Authority.

A strong Hamas poses a threat to
regional stability
. Hamas chose to carry out
terrorist attacks and fired at Israeli citizens in
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the south of the
country.

You and your family members
experienced
the violent reality of Hamas for
Israeli citizens when you also had to go into
shelters
.

I send my
condolences
to the people of India and
Thailand
for your citizens killed by Hamas
rockets.

No country would allow the
firing of thousands of rockets on its population and they
would act in a similar way to protect its
citizens.

The actions of Hamas at
this time should cause the entire international
community to change its behavior
in relation to
Hamas.

Strengthening Hamas as opposed
to the PA goes against Palestinian
interests
and those of the international
community.

It also destroys any future
solution to the conflict
and harms the PA.

We
are monitoring the humanitarian situation
and are in constant contact with aid
organizations
. We are aware of the
difficulties
and are attempting to bring in
aid
.

Yesterday, as we were
transferring trucks of fuel and aid, Hamas fired
on the trucks as they were crossing into
Gaza.

In the past week, I have spoken with
dozens of foreign ministers
, and I am convinced
that there is strong international support
and understanding for Israel’s need to fight Hamas
terrorism.

We expect that countries who value
stability and peace in the Middle East

should:

  • Explicitly condemn Hamas
    for firing rockets.
  • Express support for
    Israel
    ‘s right to protect its
    citizens.
  • Make clear that the responsibility
    for the escalation is on
    Hamas
    .
  • Designate Hamas as a terror
    organization
    .

It is in all of
our interests to condemn Hamas’ terrorism
and
express support for Israel’s measures to protect its
citizens.

This prevents the strengthening of a
radical terrorist organization
at the expense of
pragmatic and moderate actors.

Strengthening Hamas as
opposed to the PA goes against Palestinian interests and
those of the international community.

The
Palestinians are trying to move the conflict to the
international arena and to UN bodies
. We oppose
these initiatives, which will only contribute to
inflame the situation and boost Hamas.

We
need to end this outrageous comparison of the
terrorists of Hamas and the democracy of
Israel
.

Israel opposes holding the
expected discussion at the General Assembly
.
However, since it will happen anyway, I ask that the
statements of your countries in the
discussion include:

A. A clear
condemnation of the rocket fire by Hamas on
the Israeli civilian population

B.
Recognition of Israel’s right to protect its
citizens

C. Clarification
that Hamas is responsible for the
escalation.

In the event that a resolution is formed
at the Assembly, I ask that your countries vote
against such a resolution
.

I understand that
the Palestinians are working to convene a special session of
the UN Human Rights Council.

This is
a body with a clear anti-Israel agenda.
This will not contribute to calming the
situation
, but will reward Hamas.
I ask that the member states of the Council strongly
oppose this
meeting
.

End.

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