Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip receives its orders from Iran, charged Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, as he defended the IDF’s attack against PIJ’s military installations and leaders during the weekend’s military operation known as Breaking Dawn.
“The PIJ is a radical terrorist organization, armed, funded and trained by Iran,” Erdan told reporters in advance of a UNSC meeting slated to be held on Monday afternoon in New York.
“While the [PIJ] was indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli civilians, its leader, Ziad Nakhaleh, was meeting with the Ayatollah puppet masters in Tehran and receiving orders from them. You can all see the photo of Ziad Nakhaleh meeting together with [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran.”
Erdan compared the IDF operation in Gaza that began with a preemptive strike, with those military strikes launched by other countries such as the US against ISIS or al-Qaeda terror groups.
“Just a week ago a justified strike neutralized al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman Zawahiri,” said Erdan, referring to the fatal US drone attack against him in Afghanistan. “Before leading al-Qaeda, Zawahiri was a leading member of the EIJ – the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad share more than just a similar name. They share the “values” of annihilating the free and modern world that we live in.”
Erdan said that “when Zawahiri was eliminated, this institution, as well as most of the world, gave [the US] its full support. This was one step closer to eradicating radical terrorism from the world.”
But those same global voices do not support Israel in Gaza, Erdan said, referencing the IDF strikes in Gaza that killed senior PIJ commanders Tayseer al-Jaabari and Khaled Mansour.
“When Israel neutralizes such terrorists in order to prevent an imminent attack against our civilians, UN officials shamelessly issue” messages of “deep concern. This is a blatant double standard and will not be accepted.”
The PIJ has “no social or political aspirations,” Erdan said. “They only have one goal – to annihilate Israel and replace it with an Islamist state. Does that remind you of ISIS or al-Qaeda? Of course, it does. These groups are no different. They share the same horrifying and distorted vision.”
"Does that remind you of ISIS or al-Qaeda? Of course, it does. These groups are no different. They share the same horrifying and distorted vision."Israel Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan
Erdan said that PIJ launched 11,000 rockets against Israeli civilian targets, of which 200 backfired and landed in Gaza causing civilian fatalities, including in the Jabalya refugee camp where for children were killed.
Erdan used his iPad to show a video of the failed rocket strike. He also displayed a video of pilots refraining from carrying out a strike against PIJ leader Mansour, because there were children in his immediate vicinity.
“Before neutralizing Khaled Mansour, a senior Islamic Jihad commander with much Israeli blood on his hands, the Israeli Air Force aborted the mission three times – three times – due to the presence of children in the area,” Erdan stated.
The IDF attacks were done with unparalleled “accuracy” and “precision,” and “there is no other military that has such a low collateral damage rate.”
Erdan recalled that Israel had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and destroyed its 21 settlements, and how Hamas then violently took it over from the Palestinian Authority and turned it into a terror hub from which to launch attacks against Israel.