Ambassador Osama Abdelkhalek’s condemnation came hours after Israel hailed Egypt for its role in the ceasefire.
By: Debbie Reiss
Hours after Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed Egypt for its role in brokering a ceasefire with the Islamic Jihad terror group, the Arab nation’s representative at the United Nations lashed out at Israel for its “flagrant violation” of Palestinian rights, citing inaccurate statistics to prove his point and denouncing the Jewish state’s blockade of Gaza – while conveniently omitting mention of his own country’s blockade of the Strip.
Egyptian Ambassador to the UN Osama Abdelkhalek decried the “43 martyrs” who died during the 66-hour operation, a number that was inaccurate according to the UN’s own statistics, which were relayed to Abdel Khalek before his speech by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wenessland, according to Times of Israel.
Abdelkhalek also failed to distinguish between the deaths of Islamic Jihad terrorists and Palestinian civilians. According to IDF figures, 11 Palestinian civilians, including the wives of Islamic Jihad commanders, died during Israeli strikes. A further 16 people, including children, died by errant Islamic Jihad rockets.
Abdelkhalek did not mention the terror group once in his speech
He also slammed Israel for permitting “settlers under the protection of the Israeli police to incur the courtyards of the Haram al-Sharif [Temple Mount],” referring to Jewish Israelis who visited the holy site on the Fast of Tisha B’Av on Sunday.
Abdelkhalek said Israel was “fully responsible” for Gaza, even though Israel disengaged from the territory in 2005, uprooting Jewish settlements. He called for the end of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which Israel enforced after the Hamas ruling terror group smuggled weapons into the enclave. Nor did he mention Egypt’s own blockade, which was imposed for the same reasons.
Egypt condemns the settlements, the demolitions of convicted terrorists’ homes, and the arrests of terror suspects, Abdelkhalek said.
“Egypt will never abandon its historic responsibilities vis-a-vis the Palestinian brotherly people and our efforts [to build] a better future which we all look forward to when peace, security, and stability prevail in the Middle East,” the report quoted him as saying.
Earlier on Monday, Lapid “talked at length” with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, his office said in a statement, thanking the Egyptian leader for his role in brokering the ceasefire.
“The prime minister thanked the Egyptian president for his hard work security the cease-fire in Gaza. Lapid said that Egypt had a very important role to play in maintaining regional stability and security,” the statement said.
The two discussed strengthening and developing normalization between Israel and Arab nations, as well as boosting the Palestinian economy.
“The president, for his part, brought up the Palestinian issue. Lapid stressed that in his view, the Palestinians’ economic situation had to be strengthened. The two also discussed humanitarian matters important to both countries, and continued economic cooperation,” the statement added.