Treaties Trampled, Tenets of World Order Contested, Disarmament Machinery Mired in Chronic Paralysis, First Committee Speakers Hear During Debate
With Paradigm Shift, World Can Still Transcend Differences, Delegate Says
Treaties are being trampled, the tenets of the world order are being challenged, the UN’s disarmament machinery is mired in chronic paralysis and boxed in by lethargy, and business as usual has brought humankind to the current dangerous stage, delegates in the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) said during the penultimate day of their general debate.
Ethiopia’s representative said achieving peace and security in a fragmented world requires a surge in diplomacy to find sustainable solutions that address legitimate security concerns. It is high time for trust, dialogue and revitalized partnership. Through a paradigm shift, the world can still make the correct choice to transcend the differences.
The representative of Namibia envisioned a potential path for peace. More than wars and conflicts, the world needs peace that can sustain development and build bridges of opportunities for future generations. The First Committee, in particular, is charged with a unique opportunity to build bridges of peace between nations, rather than creating wedges between them.
Commitment to multilateral treaties to achieve nuclear disarmament is not just a logical choice, but a need and a decision that embodies legal and moral values, Algeria’s speaker said. Joining an overwhelming majority of delegations throughout the debate, he urged nuclear-weapon States to honour their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and translate commitments into tangible results.
Similarly, Senegal’s representative said that nuclear-weapon States do indeed have a responsibility to agree on a more ambitious programme to reduce their arsenals, strengthen non-proliferation measures and provide negative security guarantees to non-nuclear-weapon States. However, to the detriment of sustainable development, the modernization of these weapons continues to mobilize considerable resources.
Reaffirming the Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace, Vanuatu’s representative called for all Member States to reverse current increases in military spending, refrain from securitizing peace and adopt a more human-centred disarmament. He also highlighted the weakness in the contemporary international system.
The representative of Kenya regretted that the need for disarmament remains largely unheeded. The catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons should spark urgent dialogue and the fulfilment of commitments until their total elimination is achieved. The conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East are testament to the fact that the global peace and security situation is fragile and precarious.
The First Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 11 October, to conclude its general debate.
JASSER JIMÉNEZ (Nicaragua) called for all resources allocated towards modernizing nuclear weapons and expanding military partnerships to instead be used to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. A collective effort should be made to restore confidence in the United Nations. His Government is committed to combating illicit weapons trafficking and has included in its national legislation the UN Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons and the International Tracing Instrument. With a homicide rate of only 7 per 100,000 people, Nicaragua has one of the lowest such rates in Latin America and the world. His country has developed several programmes to combat organized crime, drug and weapons trafficking, and terrorism. Moreover, he supports the idea of a treaty to prohibit nuclear or other weapons in outer space. He affirms the proposal of the Russian Federation and China in the Conference on Disarmament as a good basis for negotiations.
NORBERTO MORETTI (Brazil) said the First Committee can and should be more ambitious. While recognizing the challenges ahead, it should not be bound too strictly by perceptions of the current security environment to the point of limiting its sight. Secondly, he cautioned that divisions have grown, in particular, in the Security Council, and warned that, should a similar process unfold in the General Assembly, the consequences could be dire. “Inflexibility today perpetuates divisions tomorrow,” he said. In response, consensus must once again be the Committee’s default objective, even if it sometimes proves elusive and hard to attain. He signalled that while the Committee noted setbacks in the past year, it attained substantive results in areas including strengthening of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. One of the Committee’s main tasks here this year, he said, is to further encourage this kind of constructive pragmatism.
HELENA KUZEE (Namibia) said that this session is convened against the backdrop of a highly polarized world characterized with an all-time high threat of nuclear weapons use. “More than wars and conflicts, the world needs peace — peace that can sustain development and peace that can build bridges of opportunities for future generations. The United Nations was formed to maintain international peace and security and develop friendly relations between States. The First Committee is charged with a unique responsibility that can build bridges of peace between nations on one hand or easily create a wedge between them on the other. Namibia is committed to play its part for disarmament and non-proliferation, anchored in its conviction that inclusive multilateral cooperation and negotiations pave the way for curbing the vertical and horizontal spread of nuclear weapons. In this regard, she called on all States to accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), as its universalization is key.
MICHAEL KAPKIAI KIBOINO (Kenya) said that the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East are testament to the fact that the global peace and security situation is fragile and precarious. On nuclear weapons, he regretted that the need for disarmament remains largely unheeded. Those weapons’ catastrophic consequences should spark urgent dialogue and the fulfilment of commitments until their total elimination is achieved. There is a need for balance between innovation and preventing malicious use of technologies. A multilateral approach is required for security in the face of the possible misuse of artificial intelligence, big data and social media. Among other points, he urged caution over an arms race in outer space, and for negotiations on a legal framework to prevent this development and ensure equal opportunities for all nations in space exploration. A comprehensive architecture is required among stakeholders regionally, nationally and internationally to stop the trade and use of illicit small and light arms.
SARA NDIAYE (Senegal) warned that all disarmament bodies, including the Conference on Disarmament and Disarmament Commission, are mired in chronic paralysis and boxed in by lethargy. The modernization of nuclear weapons requires the mobilization of considerable resources to the detriment of sustainable development. Nuclear-weapon States have a responsibility to agree on a more realistic and ambitious programme to reduce their arsenals, strengthen non-proliferation measures and provide negative security guarantees to non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. She reaffirmed that the peaceful use of nuclear energy can catalyse the Global South’s economic emergence. Energy, health, industry and agriculture can all benefit from nuclear technology. She called for strong cooperation between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Member States, especially on knowledge transfers.
WISLYNE PIERRE (Haiti) said that the Committee is coming together when human security is increasingly precarious due to multiple challenges, including threats of use of weapons of mass destruction. Mistrust is a major stumbling block in disarmament, leading to increased military spending and competition, all of which runs counter to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The spread of conventional weapons, such as small arms, light weapons and anti-personal mines has a destabilizing effect on social and economic development. Her country is a victim of such weapons. She called on producing and exporting countries to live up to their responsibility. In that regard, she expressed support for the Arms Trade Treaty, the International Tracing Instrument and the Programmes of Action on small arms and light weapons. The Disarmament Centre for Latin America and Caribbean has done remarkable work. This cooperation can serve as a model for other regions.
MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costs Rica) called for gender to be recognized in policy-making and decisions on non-proliferation and arms control. All weapons have a gender dimension; for example, they perpetuate sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations and exacerbate human vulnerability. Arms control would prevent these atrocities, and she called on the Security Council to include consideration of arms control on its agenda concerning women, peace and security. Arms-control practices and action plans for women, peace and security at a national level should be harmonized to drive efforts on an international level. Also urgently needed is a gender-sensitive framework for regulations on cybersecurity. She is concerned over the role of artificial intelligence in weapons, noting that her country will be tabling a resolution on this topic, which requests a report on States’ views on the matter.
PHILIPPE KRIDELKA (Belgium), aligning himself with the statement made by the European Union, vigorously condemned the attacks perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli civilians. Such practices benefit no one. The world faces stark choices as the foundation of the rules-based international order, represented by the UN Charter, is upended by the Russian Federation, leading to the erosion of treaties and agreements and democratic processes thrown into turmoil. The tenets of the current world order are being challenged. In this context, neutrality over the war in Ukraine is not an option. He further urged the Russian Federation to refrain from withdrawing its Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) ratification and called on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to take the necessary steps towards denuclearization. Iran’s lack of transparency in its nuclear program remains a concern, he said, urging Syria to cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to shed light on its chemical weapons programme.
EL HADJ MOHAMEDOU (Mauritania) reiterated that spending should be geared towards development and fighting poverty and climate change, instead of a heated arms race to potentially eliminate humankind. Regarding conventional weapons, he noted the correlation between easy access to small arms and light weapons and the proliferation of terrorist groups, trafficking, and organized crime networks. In response, his country is incorporating the UN Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons into national efforts to address hotspots in the Sahel and Africa at large. At the same time, these efforts should not — under any circumstances — restrict the inherent right of States to the legitimate conventional weapons trade and the sovereign right to self-defence as provided in the UN Charter.
CAMILLE PETIT (France) joined in the condemnation of the Russian Federation’s illegal and unjustified armed aggression against Ukraine and deplored Moscow’s suspension of its participation in the New START Treaty. Working for peace and ensuring international stability requires preserving existing multilateral instruments and regulating behaviour in new areas of competition and conflict. France calls on Iran to reverse the escalation of its nuclear programme, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to ensure the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of all its proliferation programmes. Some States, such as Syria, have contributed to the development of chemical weapons with impunity, used them and obstructed OPCW’s work. Use of chemical weapons in Ukraine by the Russian Federation is a direct or false-flag attack that would have disastrous humanitarian and environmental consequences. France will act decisively to support the Chemical Weapons Convention.
REGINA BOMA (Zambia) said the elimination of nuclear weapons, safeguarding outer space and enhancing cybersecurity are needed to ensure mutual safety and security. She stressed that outer space is one of the global commons that should be preserved for the benefit of all humanity. In recent years, security challenges in space have been escalating at an alarming rate. The risk may lead to the weaponization of that domain. It could thus become a battlefield, or the fourth frontier of war. Collaboration is indispensable to establish international norms and agreements that explicitly ban the placement of weapons in outer space. On the illicit trade and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, she warned that these are a fundamental obstacle to global peace and security, with implications for the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ODO TEVI (Vanuatu) stressed that the Security Council remains paralysed to find a permanent solution to the “Ukraine-Russian conflict”, which reflects weakness in the international system. He echoed the Secretary-General’s call for all Member States to reverse the current increase in military spending, to refrain from securitizing peace, and to adopt a more human-centred disarmament. He urged all Member States to join the TPNW and expressed support to free the South Pacific of nuclear weapons through the Rarotonga Treaty. It is crucial for nuclear-weapon States fulfil their NPT obligations. Also critical is ratification of the CTBT. He called for a peaceful Korean Peninsula in light of continuing nuclear tests. Vanuatu experienced a cyberattack this year that shut down all State systems, for which it received no international support. He urged a safe cyberspace and the application of international laws to all States operating in that realm.
ANA JIMENEZ DE LA HOZ (Spain) said that threats to peace and security are intensifying. She expressed her firm commitment to a moratorium on nuclear testing and called for negotiations on the elimination of fissile material for nuclear weapons. She defended the need for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear situation, and urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from further missile tests and return to dialogue to bring about irreversible denuclearization. It is vital to redouble efforts to ensure that chemical weapons are never used. She is committed to demining and offers her country’s capacities to help in that regard. She added that artificial intelligence brings benefits but also risks, and, thus, supports proposals to prohibit autonomous arms without human control. A framework was needed to make space a peaceful and safe place for all.
TEBURORO TITO (Kiribati) said the rhetoric and actions of the nuclear-weapon States have raised profound concerns about their commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The continuous modernization and maintenance of nuclear weapons has slowly chipped away at the grand bargain between the nuclear- and non-nuclear weapon States and, consequently, the disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. While seeking nuclear disarmament through the NPT, Kiribati also advocates for “nuclear justice” through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Together with Kazakhstan, which co-chairs the working group on victim assistance, Kiribati will present a new resolution on victim assistance and environmental remediation to States affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons. It is intended to help affected States and impacted communities. In addition, Kiribati is gravely concerned about the development and use of autonomous weapon systems. The country calls for States to prohibit unpredictable autonomous weapons and systems designed or used to target humans.
ZEINAB ISMAËL ASSOWEH (Djibouti) expressed dismay at the situation in the Middle East and called on the international community to find an urgent solution to the humanitarian crisis. The introduction of nuclear weapons in the world marked a painful turning point as they can destroy lives and the environment, she said, noting with regret that the Test-Ban Treaty has yet to come into force. Djibouti is committed to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and, therefore, signed the TPNW in 2023, and the process of ratification is under way. Turning the Middle East into a nuclear-weapon-free zone is of paramount importance to bolstering international peace. In conclusion, she said that the challenges to achieving the SDGs can be addressed, if only enduring solutions are found for disarmament, non-proliferation and protection of outer space.
LARBI ABDELFATTAH LEBBAZ (Algeria) emphasized that his country’s commitment to multilateral treaties and efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament is not just a logical choice, but a need that goes beyond choices and a decision that embodies legal and moral values. His country joins an overwhelming majority of States to call on nuclear-weapon States, which bear responsibility to achieve nuclear disarmament, to honour their NPT obligations and translate commitments into tangible results that meet the international community’s wishes. He reaffirmed the vital importance of establishing a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East — a legitimate demand and absolute priority to achieve peace regionally and internationally. Regarding autonomous lethal weapons, he underscored the urgent need to negotiate a legally binding instrument.
MOHAMMED LAWAL MAHMUD (Nigeria) expressed renewed concern at the lack of progress in achieving nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects. Calling nuclear weapons an “existential threat to humanity”, he urged all states to take necessary measures aimed at the total elimination of those weapons. “We need to see action towards dismantling of these weapons,” he said, while underscoring the importance of the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. He stresses the central role of the IAEA in monitoring and inspecting nuclear facilities and urges States to ratify the Test-Ban Treaty without further delay. Nigeria remains committed to the UN Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit small arms and light weapons trade.
LEULSEGED ABEBE (Ethiopia) warned that the international community is unwilling to come together with a sense of urgency at this critical time to tackle global challenges. Case in point is the faltering global partnership and multilateralism, as seen by the division in the Security Council, where members are unable to agree on addressing conflicts in Ukraine and Africa. He called for a paradigm shift, since business as usual has brought humankind to the current dangerous age. The world can still make a correct choice to transcend differences and find solutions. It is high time for trust, dialogue and revitalized partnership, time to seek a new way of working collectively and cooperatively. He rejects action based on national interests and calls for an effective and genuine global security system anchored in the UN Charter. Achieving peace and security in a fragmented world requires a surge in diplomacy to find sustainable solutions that address legitimate security concerns, he said, stressing that diplomacy and mutual trust are the only ways to avoid nuclear confrontation.
MDUDUZI MBINGO (Eswatini) noted that the disarmament and non-proliferation regime is losing its grip, and international security continues to deteriorate. He said that multilateral diplomacy remains the only way to address these issues. He called for more profound and concrete measures to achieve nuclear-weapon disarmament, in a verifiable and irreversible manner, within a timeframe. He added that nuclear weapons remain an existential threat not only to humanity but also to nature. He re-affirmed his country’s commitment to the Treaty of Pelindaba, which declared the African region as a nuclear-weapon-free zone. He said that his country will soon sign the TPNW which prohibits but is not limited to the development, manufacture, acquisition or possession of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. He is concerned about the circulation and manufacture of small arms and light weapons, and their use on the African continent, and his country is committed to combat their illicit trade.
Mr. BABO (Cameroon), acknowledging the persistent challenges and emerging threats in international security, advocated for the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction to address, as well as for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. He expressed concerns about regional security, technological advancements and the growing threat of space militarization. For the latter, he recommends strengthening cooperation, particularly in the nascent legal framework, to facilitate the peaceful use of outer space and prevent its militarization. He further called for enhanced international cooperation to strengthen existing legal mechanisms for controlling small arms and light weapons, expressing hope that the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will play a crucial role in addressing the illicit trafficking, thus contributing to conflict prevention on a global scale. Noting the interconnection between disarmament and development, he advocated for the efficient allocation of resources for human and economic development globally.
Right of Reply
The representative of Georgia, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, responded to remarks made yesterday by the Russian Federation’s delegate, who said that Moscow recognizes the so-called independence of two Georgian regions based on the free expression of the popular will. There are more than 300,000 internally displaced persons and refugees from these regions due to the Russian Federation’s decades-long aggressive policies towards them. These people represented an absolute majority of the populations in these regions before they were forcibly expelled from their homes. In this context, it is hypocritical to claim the independence of the two regions based on the so-called free will of the people. The Russian Federation exercises effective control over the occupied regions of Georgia, and this fact was well established by the European Court for Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.
The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, quoted Israeli officials calling Palestinians “animals”. He said that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are suffering more dehumanization and repeated assaults in the name of security, which inflict more pain on innocent civilians. He asserted that Palestinian civilians are not less deserving of protection than Israelis. Rather, hundreds of families killed in recent days deserve compassion. You may not see them on your screens except as blurred-out corpses, but they are people who had a life of suffering hoping they would not have death and destruction as their only horizon.
He said that if you abandon them, you abandon your humanity and do not serve the causes of justice or peace. People in the Gaza Strip have no time to mourn their dead, and humanitarian aid cannot reach them. “We need to act to stop the bloodshed,” he said. Another reality with shared peace and security is possible. He thought it would be obvious that this is the goal everyone strives for.
The representative of Iran, in right of reply, condemned the actions of the Israeli regime, accusing it of oppressive expansionist and criminal activities in the region. The world has not forgotten the pending case against the Israeli regime at the International Criminal Court for alleged atrocity crimes committed against Palestinians, yet this regime continues to target innocent people in Palestine using prohibited weapons. It is the only occupier, he said, further accusing the Israeli regime of violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and Lebanon. Regarding nuclear weapons, he called for international efforts to compel Israeli regime to join the relevant treaties, and he insisted that the Security Council take action to address the Israeli regime’s destabilizing activities in the region.
The representative of Syria rejected Israel’s statement on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. These allegations are unfounded and only based on disinformation by an occupying Power. The truth is clear, and it cannot be concealed by rhetoric. Israel is the only nuclear-weapon possessor in the region, and the one who brought terrorism to the Middle East. It continues to occupy Arab territories and to use prohibited weapons against civilians. This is the manifestation of terrorism, he said.
The representative of Armenia, in right of reply, responded to misleading and false remarks made yesterday by his counterpart from Azerbaijan, who attempted to justify its aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. In December 2022, Baku blocked the Lachin corridor with a clear intention of using starvation as a method of warfare. This siege was presented as a peaceful demonstration. Azerbaijan obstructed the international presence that could have verified it. The International Court of Justice has issued a provisional order, which Baku ignored. The recent pre-planned military aggression in Nagorno-Karabakh was presented as self-defence, and Baku presented ethnic cleansing as their sovereign right. Their dangerous narratives at the UN are nothing but attempts to whitewash their crimes.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in right of reply, categorically rejected the accusations by France, Belgium and Spain. France, he said, has been sending forces to Korean Peninsula waters every year since 2019 under the pretext of upholding sanctions. This is dangerously escalating tensions. It also reportedly plans to send a military plane to the area. It is deplorable and pathetic that France wants to enhance its status in this way. Such reckless moves are adding to the complexity and danger of the situation at a time when the region is inching closer to thermal nuclear war, owing to the United States and its followers’ hostile miliary acts. France had better remember that it may face an unwanted challenge if it meddles in the Asia-Pacific region. France should immediately stop its dangerous acts before it becomes too late.
He said that the position and role of the nuclear force in ensuring the security of his country accurately reflects the threats from outside hostile forces. As long as the United States’ hostile policy and nuclear blackmail and threats exist, a nuclear deterrent is his country’s fateful choice. If the United States and other hostile forces seek to deny his country its constitutional position as a nuclear-weapon State by imposing denuclearization upon it, it will be regarded as the most serious violation of his country’s sovereignty and Constitution. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reserves its inherent right to self-defence and will respond to all hostile acts aimed at depriving it of its sovereign rights.
The representative of Israel said that, unlike some Member States, her country expresses condolences for all Palestinians who have lived under the brutal rule of Hamas for the past 23 years. Noting that Israel mourns the loss of innocent lives, which Hamas does not, she emphasized the need for humanity in these dark times, which is necessary “to fight against such unabated savagery”. She further expressed deep shock and disbelief at the barbaric acts she witnessed on social media, particularly the deliberate killing of women and babies. She called for condemnation of these acts and for holding Hamas accountable for its actions. “I cannot understand why the Palestinian representatives do not condemn these acts or blame Hamas for the onslaught?”, she asked.
The representative of the Russian Federation rejected all accusations from the Georgia’s delegation. The Russian Federation officially acknowledged the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, citing their recognition as a result of the genuine desires expressed by the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This move was guided by the UN Charter and other international documents. He also responded to the “baseless” statements of Western countries in connection with the Russian Federation’s interaction with Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “Our American and European colleagues should have stopped speculating a long time ago about deliveries of drones from Iran to Russia,” he said. Such claims are based on “flimsy” conclusions touted as facts, he said, adding that no one has produced any convincing evidence on this front. He rejected insinuations by the United States and their allies about the development of bilateral ties between the Russian Federation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “This is no more than the latest cynical, hypocritical attempt to ramp up pressure on our country,” he added. Such actions are a true threat to international peace and security. He also said sanctions are “futile” when it comes “to ensuring the dismantling or suspension” by Pyongyang of its nuclear programme.
The representative of Azerbaijan said that Armenia’s delegate should understand that the way to ensure peace and stability in the region is not to raise the issue in the First Committee with baseless claims, but establish relations with Azerbaijan based on respect for its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Armenia should engage in constructive negotiations with Azerbaijan for durable peace. His country’s counter-terrorist measures are aimed at disarming the illegal Armenian forces on Azerbaijan’s territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is a serious threat to regional peace and security. Armenia should embrace a chance to establish peace in the region by abandoning military provocations and stopping its interference in his country’s internal affairs.
The representative of Syria, responding the statements by his French and Belgian counterparts on the use of chemical weapons in his country, said the OPCW report lacks objectivity and professionalism and is biased. The two States who made the allegations continue an approach undermining the work of OPCW, on the basis of fabricated intelligence. These countries bear the responsibility of deviating the organization away from its professional and technical nature to the adoption of resolutions in contravention of the Convention. Syria has destroyed its complete stockpile of chemical weapons and continues to cooperate with the organization, including in the provision of precise information that would clarify the fact that the terrorists used chemical weapons with direct and indirect support form parties in the region.
He said Damascus had provided information about the fact that the countries sponsoring terrorism enabled terrorists to get poisonous chemical agents used against civilians and the Syrian army. Syria rejects the use of chemical weapons and has fulfilled all its obligations and commitments under the Convention and got rid of all its weapons in record time. Those making accusations are ignoring that terrorist groups like Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Al-Nusra are holding chemical weapons, he said.
The observer for the State of Palestine stressed that it is Israel, not Palestine, that is responsible for the bombings in the region. “We cannot continue justifying death of Palestinians under the international law,” he stressed. Israel does not recognize the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and colonizes Palestinians lands. Highlighting the need for a peaceful way to end the conflict, he pointed to the State of Palestine’s readiness to adhere to relevant UN resolutions. Continued denial of Palestinian rights will always lead to violence and bloodshed, he warned.
The representative of Israel said that she is not a lawyer, but she is a human being. “My people were slaughtered; we’re talking about more than 1,000 people in an act of barbaric terrorism by the terrorist organization Hamas,” she emphasized. Israel will defend its people; Israel will defend its civilians. “I will continue to wait for a condemnation from the Palestinian Authority representative of the horrible, inhumane actions we have seen filmed by the perpetrators, filmed by the terrorists and shared with the world,” she said.