President Shimon Peres, meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday morning in Jerusalem, urged the UN Human Rights Council to take a tougher stand against Hamas and global terror.
Israeli soldiers seen at the entrance to a tunnel found near Erez crossing, Gaza Strip, from where Hamas gunmen emerged yesterday morning. IDF thwarted the attack, several Palestinian militants were killed, and IDF soldiers injured in the combat. Operation Protective Edge has entered its 15th day, and five days into the ground operation during which 27 Israeli soldiers have been killed in action, and the Palestinian death toll rised to more than 500 since the start of the operation. Photo by IDF SPokesperson/FLASH90
“I call upon the council to condemn terrorism, especially of Hamas, in the strongest terms,” Israeli President Shimon Peres stated at a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday morning at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
“Standing for human rights for all and standing against terrorism are one and the same,” Peres said. “We reject the idea of appointing a committee to decide who is right and who is wrong. Terror is a danger to the world and the fight against it is global. No country will be immune to the threat of terror if we don’t fight it together.”
Both men delivered statements to the press after their meeting. Peres criticized Qatar’s funding of terrorism, saying, “Qatar does not have the right to send money for rockets and tunnels which are fired at innocent civilians. Their funding of terror must stop. If they want to build, then they should, but they must not be allowed to destroy.”
Peres: Stop Rockets, Not Flights
Peres also addressed the suspension of flights to Israel:
“I regret that airlines have suspended flights. The real answer is not to stop flights but to stop the rockets. If airlines will submit to terror then they invite more rocket fire and a greater danger not just here, but across the world.”
Regarding the situation in Gaza, “Every country has the obligation to protect itself against attacks and attempts to kill innocent civilians. No state in the world would be willing to accept rockets fired at its mothers and children from the sky and terrorists emerging from tunnels to kill innocents for no reason and with no justification. Instead of investing in education, in healthcare and in building a future for Gaza, Hamas wasted millions on tunnels and rockets.
“The people of Gaza are not our enemies,” Peres continued. “Gaza could have become a center of trade, but Hamas turned it into a center of terror. The people of Gaza could have been given hope but instead Hamas brought them destruction. Hamas built an infrastructure of terror beneath schools and kindergartens. They use hospitals to launch attacks. They hide in houses and use their children as human shields. Mr. Secretary-General, they even use your UNRWA schools to store their rockets.
“The behavior of Hamas is a criminal act against their own people and ours,” he added. “The death of innocent civilians pains me personally and it pains our people. We sanctify life, every life. Hamas glorifies death and they are the ones responsible for the deaths in Gaza. We must say clearly – terrorism will never bring peace. The way to peace is through negotiations, dialogue and compromise. ”
Peres Salutes IDF and Israeli Citizens
The Israeli president concluded by saying, “I salute our soldiers who are fighting to protect our home and our children. I salute our citizens who stand firm in the face of this threat. And I thank our friends who have stood by our side. A just and democratic society will win. We shall continue to pray for peace, we shall continue to work for it day and night.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was “compelled to visit Israel once again on an urgent mission of peace and solidarity.”
“This is my third such urgent mission during the last five years,” he said. “The violence must stop now and we must immediately start dialogue which addresses all the root causes [and] which have already been identified, discussed and negotiated for a long time. We do not have time to lose.”
UN Chief Continues to Push for Two-State Solution
Ban expressed “solidarity with Israelis on the rocket fire, solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza under massive assault as the international community strives for a ceasefire in Gaza. I know there are rockets [that] continue to threaten Israeli civilians and disrupt normal life. I have repeatedly condemned it and will continue to do so. There is a deep pain and anguish at the loss among Palestinians. As Secretary-General of the United Nations I will not be silent in the face of this tragedy.
“Whatever the obstacles, Israelis and Palestinians share a common future and they need hope for political progress and economic prosperity,” he said. “A future of two states living side by side in peace and security. That’s the vision of the two state solution.”
Source: Government Press Office