Israel Slams Abbas in Letter to UN Following Gaza Rocket Fire

Letter comes day after Palestinians file complaint with UN over Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's 'incitement'.

Israel sent a letter to the United Nations Thursday slamming Palestinian President Mahmous Abbas for failing to condemn Wednesday's rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

"With the roar of rockets echoing from the Gaza Strip, silence from the Palestinian Authority is unacceptable," Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said in the letter, which was sent to both the UN Secretary General and Security Council.

Abbas, Lieberman - AP 11.10.11, Reuters 27.10.11
AP / Reuters

The letter echoed recent comments by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that Abbas is the "greatest obstacle" to regional order, by criticizing the Palestinian Authority.

It acknowledged that "Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization fully responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza, where it remains in de facto control." However, it took Abbas to task for failing to condemn the attack, alluding that it is testimony to the ineffectiveness of the recent reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah.

"Israel is still waiting to hear President Abbas clearly condemn Hamas for the terror that continues to flow from Gaza," it said.

"The rockets that continue to fly out of the area illustrate a basic truth: the Palestinian Authority has absolutely zero authority in the Gaza Strip. While President Abbas continues his unilateral march for state recognition at the United Nations, the Palestinians are far from meeting the basic criteria for statehood, particularly the test of effective control," said the letter, adding, "So-called Palestinian unity has been – and remains – a virtual reality."

Prosor went on to emphasize the terrorist threats facing Israel. "The terrorist rockets in Gaza are traveling further – and their warheads are getting larger. This is a direct result of the continuous smuggling of advanced weapons from Iran and others into the Gaza Strip. Preventing this illegal activity is an integral part of Security Council resolution 1860, but it receives hardly any attention from the international community."

In addition, the letter said dozens of Israelis were treated for shock following the rocket fire which landed in Ashdod late Wednesday, and that on Thursday morning more than 3,000 Israeli children were kept out of school to ensure their safety.

Prosor's letter was submitted to the United Nations one day after Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour filed a complaint about Lieberman's recent attacks on Abbas.

The complaint cited an article published by Haaretz on Monday, in which Lieberman was quoted as saying that Abbas is the "greatest obstacle" to regional order, and that it would be a "blessing" if the Palestinian leader were to resign.

"If there is one obstacle that should be removed immediately, it is [Abbas]," Liberman had said. "If he were to return the keys and resign, it would not be a threat, but a blessing."

The letter submitted on Tuesday to the UN Security Council said, "We unequivocally reject and object to such incitement, which we consider to be a clear threat against the life of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose commitment to peace is absolutely unquestionable."

The letter also refers to Israeli settlement construction, planned construction in Israel and the separation wall.

In Prosor's letter, he added that Israel has accepted the principles outlined by the Quartet to restart negotiations immediately, without preconditions and that it is "waiting for the Palestinians to do the same and join us back at the negotiating table."