The situation in the region today did not develop overnight. It is the consequence of many choices, repeatedly the wrong choices, made by the Palestinians to adopt terrorism and violence over peace and negotiations with Israel. The Palestinians in Gaza did not choose to engage Israel in dialogue and reconciliation to advance the two-state vision. Rather, they chose Hamas who uses terrorism and violence to advance its vision to destroy Israel.
ISRAELíS STATEMENT TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL: THE SITUATION IN GAZA AND SDEROT:
Since the year 2000, more than 7,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Last year alone, that number was over 2,000. And since Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in June 2007, the frequency of rocket attacks rose 150%, to more than 250 rockets and mortars a month. This means, on average, one rocket is fired at Israel every three hours.
Normal life in Sderot is a thing of the past. Not a day goes by when the Red Alert warning system does not sound, which gives children on playgrounds and in schools, and parents at home and at work, less than 15 seconds to find the nearest shelter before the next rocket comes slamming into their lives. Why is the Council not concerned with the safety and security of Israel's children, women, and elderly who live in the southern city of Sderot? Why is the Council silent as they live in fear and panic each and every day?
Israel must and will protect its civilian population from these rocket attacks. It is the duty of all states to ensure the right to life and safety of its people, especially from vicious acts of violence and terrorism that are carried out with the sole purpose of maiming, terrorizing, and murdering the innocent. I ask each Member of the Council: what would you do if London, Moscow, Paris, or Tripoli was attacked and fired on? Would you sit back and do nothing? Israel will act in accordance with its inherent right under Article 51 of the UN Charter to protect and defend its people.
Hamas controls the fate of Gaza. If terrorism ceases, life in Gaza will change. The Palestinians must understand that they will not profit from terrorism. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian national vision. Hamas is the antithesis of two states living side-by-side in peace and security (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs).