Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) gestures as he speaks during a joint news conference with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv July 22, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the statement addresses the needs of a murderous terrorist organization, but not those of Israel.
The statement, he said, does not address Israel's demands for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, a principle already established by previous interim agreements with the Palestinians.
“The statement did not deal with the harm done to Israeli civilians, nor to the fact that Hamas turned Gaza civilians into human shields,” he said. Netanyahu, who met Ban in Jerusalem last week, also complained that the statement made no mention of the fact that Hamas used UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.
Israel accepted a UN request for a humanitarian cease-fire three times, he said, while Hamas violated each one.
“They are continuing to fire even now at Israel citizens,” he said. “Israel will continue to deal with the terror tunnels, which is only the first step in demilitarization.”
Instead of having its money used by Hamas to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, Netanayhu recommended that the international community “should work to demilitarize Gaza.”
The Security Council statement adopted early Monday morning expressed “grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation in the Middle East as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.”
The statement “expressed strong support” for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.