After Israel hits terror group, UN Security Council meets as some members crack down on Jewish state
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JERUSALEM, Israel – A group of mostly anti-Israel countries pushed the United Nations Security Council on Monday to turn Israel back into its punching bag only to defend itself against the Iranian regime-backed terrorist movement Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
In remarks before the session, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, singled out Norway and Ireland, which often run afoul of the Jewish state, for their role in securing a meeting of emergency
“How would Norway react to Islamists plotting to fire missiles at civilians in Oslo? How would Ireland react if jihadist rockets rained down on Dublin in an effort to wipe out the ‘infidels?'” he asked.
Israel maintained a three-day conflict with the US-designated foreign terrorist organization PIJ. Erdan said: “Palestinian (Islamic) Jihad deliberately fired eleven hundred rockets at Israeli civilians, with approximately two hundred landing inside the Gaza Strip, killing innocent Palestinians and among them small children.”
According to Middle East experts, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s worst international sponsor of terrorism, has played a key role in fueling violence against Israel. Erdan noted: “Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a radical terrorist organization, armed, financed and trained by Iran.”
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China holds the presidency of the Security Council this month and has given its support to the emergency meeting.
The council session comes during a period of monumental crises, in which the UN appears largely paralyzed. A possible nuclear catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine after bombing attacks hit a nuclear facility controlled by Russia.
Observers say the UN Security Council has been largely powerless in its efforts to stop a more than six-month war of attrition between Russia and Ukraine that has left tens of thousands dead, many more injured and millions displaced, mostly women and children. Russia has faced allegations of war crimes in Ukraine.
In a reference to the recent US neutralization of al-Qaeda commander Ayman al-Zawahiri in late July, Erdan pointed to the double standard at play.
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“Precisely because of this, when al-Zawahiri was removed, this institution, as well as most of the world, gave its full support. This was a step closer to eradicating radical terror from the world. However that, when Israel neutralizes these terrorists in order to prevent an imminent attack on our civilians, UN officials brazenly express deep concern. This is a blatant double standard and will not be tolerated,” he said.
When the Security Council met with Tor Wennesland, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, he noted, “preliminary figures, which have not yet been confirmed, indicate that from since August 5, the Israel Defense Forces launched 147 airstrikes against targets in Gaza. Palestinian militants fired approximately 1,110 rockets and mortars into Israel, many of which landed deep inside Israeli territory.”
He added: “During the escalation, 46 Palestinians were killed and 360 injured, and hundreds of residential homes were damaged or destroyed, along with other civilian infrastructure. Seventy Israelis were injured, with damage to residential structures and other civilians”.
The Israeli government documented that misfired PIJ rockets killed Palestinian children and destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure.
During his remarks to the council, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, did not criticize the terrorist group that Israel had targeted and called the Israeli operation an “unprovoked and unjustified aggression”.
Mansour attributed the preemptive Israeli military operation to prevent PIJ missiles from entering Israel to the “next Israeli elections.” According to conspiracy theories circulating within radical and far-left Islamic circles, Israel removed the PIJ leadership as an electoral ploy to advance Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s electoral chances in Israel’s November elections.
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The three European countries that, in addition to the United Arab Emirates and China, convened the meeting appeared to turn a blind eye to designating the PIJ as a terrorist organization.
The French diplomat spoke of stopping the “spiral of violence”, but omitted any explicit criticism of the PIJ as a terrorist movement.
Norway’s representative blamed Israel for the “occupation” and “settlement building” in his remarks. The Norwegian official did not cite the PIJ. The Irish diplomat called Israel an “occupying power”. It is not clear what the Irish diplomat meant by stating that Israel occupies the Gaza Strip.
Israel has not had a presence in Gaza since 2005, when it withdrew from the Palestinian enclave. There are no Israeli soldiers or citizens in Gaza; however, Hamas is holding two Israelis hostage and will not release the bodies of two other Israeli soldiers. The representative of Ireland mirrored Norway and France in not naming the PIJ as a terrorist movement and the nature of its ideology.
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In stark contrast to the anti-Israel rants of the three Europeans, the US ambassador to the world body, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said: “Let’s be clear: Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a designated terrorist organization in the United States and in many other. nations. And it’s also an Iranian proxy, which has been carrying out attacks on innocent civilians for years.”
She called on the fractured body “to unite and unconditionally repudiate the terrorism of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” Thomas-Greenfield stressed that “we fully support Israel’s right to defend its people against terrorist threats, including the launch of rockets targeting civilians.”