Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, sent a letter Friday to the U.N Security Council that called on the 15-member body to meet and condemn the series of rocket attacks that were launched at Israel overnight.
In a statement released to Fox News, Danon wrote: “The terrorists that fired these rockets into Israel’s most populated civilian area did so while hiding behind Palestinian civilians in Gaza and exploiting them as human shields.” He also warned of consequences.
“A terrorist organization that tries to harm Israel will encounter a relentless and uncompromising force,” Danon wrote.
He stated the actions of Hamas constituted, “a double war crime," and warned that Israel would take all “necessary actions,” to defend its population against the “unrelenting Palestinian terrorism we face."
According to the Israeli Defense Forces, four rockets were fired into Israel overnight: Two at the country’s most populous city Tel Aviv. The Iron Dome defense system reportedly shot down three of the four. The IDF blamed Hamas for the attacks and targeted terrorist infrastructure in Gaza in its response.
The IDF twitter account reported that 100 Hamas targets were hit in Gaza following the rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians. Those sites included an underground rocket manufacturing site and a Hamas center of UAV aircraft.
In an interview with Fox News' Brian Kilmeade, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox and Friends this morning that the latest rocket launches from Gaza presented an increased risk of escalation and Pompeo hoped that would not happen, “But you should know we will support the Israelis right to defend themselves,” Pompeo said.
Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s special envoy for the Israeli/Palestinian peace process condemned the launches, tweeting: “More attempted rockets from Gaza-reports say rockets fell short-inside Gaza. Presumably all responsible countries/international orgs will condemn attacks/confirm Israel’s right to defend. Anything else is tone deaf — to Israelis, Palestinians & to peace. Time to wake up folks!”
Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wasn’t able to get the 193-member U.N. General Assembly to condemn Hamas last year due to a procedural move by Kuwait and Bolivia that meant that a two-thirds majority was needed to pass the condemnation vote rather than the plurality that it received.
Haley said at the time that "There is nothing more anti-Semitic than saying we cannot condemn terrorism against Israel, while we would not hesitate for a minute to condemn the same acts if they were taken against any other country.”
Both of the main terrorist groups in Gaza — Hamas and Islamic Jihad — denied involvement in the rocket attacks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.