For the past two weeks, my colleagues and I have found ourselves not as mere witnesses, but rather also unwilling participants in the recently inflamed conflict between Gaza and the State of Israel.
We, the representatives of Ukraine, have, together with the people of the State of Israel, personally felt the totality of the threat posed to civilians by the criminal activities of the terrorists. In this regard, we had the opportunity to witness the action of Iron Dome, Israel's missile defense system.
We are closely monitoring the progress of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO), 'Protective Edge,' in which the Israeli army is currently engaged. To this date, since the ATO was announced, 37 soldiers and IDF officers have been killed, as well as two civilians.
All Ukrainians, as well as myself, share the pain of all the relatives and friends of those who have been killed, and we mourn deeply with the people of Israel.
At the same time, we feel compassion for the civilian population of Gaza, for the numerous victims on their side.
I am convinced that the huge loss of civilian and military life might have been avoided had the activities of terrorist organizations had been condemned by the international community.
For me, as a representative of Ukraine, in the last year the problem of terrorism has acquired a special significance. Ukrainian official sources reported that as of July 15, during the period of the anti-terrorist operation in the eastern regions of Ukraine, our armed forces have lost 258 soldiers, with an additional 922 injured. Civilian losses exceed 500 people, some of whom were children and women.
As well, I was deeply shocked by the terrible tragedy of July 17 with the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777. I join in the chorus of condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the governments of those countries who lost citizens in this terror attack.
At the same time, I would like to emphasize once again that the crime, which killed 298 innocent civilians from around the world, is another confirmation of the fact that today’s terrorism is not constrained by borders. Unfortunately, the victims of this criminal activity of the pro-Russian terrorists were citizens of the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada, and New Zealand, individuals from countries who may not have even have known about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
In this regard, once again I would like to appeal to the thinking and caring people of the world to demonstrate their support for these peoples, who came upon a fight with an evil that threatens the security of everyone, regardless of nationality or place of residence.
I believe that the countries that are faced with terrorism and who try to fight this evil should support each other, and should join their efforts in order to draw the world's attention to our cause. We must begin to receive real help and support from international organizations in order to combat this threat.
Therefore, I would like to highlight that I, as a representative of Ukraine, appreciate the help that my state has received from the citizens of Israel over the past months. I express my deep gratitude to all the members of the group "Israel supports Ukraine" and, in particular, the volunteer group "Israel helps Maidan wounded" for their support of Ukraine and Ukrainians.
In these difficult days for our nations, overflowing with sad news, I would like to bow my head in memory of the Israeli and Ukrainian heroes who have died defending their people from terrorists.
Glory to our heroes!
Peace to Ukraine and Israel!
Hennadii Nadolenko is Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel.
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