Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the terrorist weapon shipment captured in an IDF raid this week constituted a war crime, and criticized the United Nations for its failure to respond to the incident. He noted the timing of the weapons shipment, which took place as the UN prepared to debate a report condemning Israel for its Cast Lead counterterror offensive in Gaza.
“This is a war crime. This is a war crime that the United Nations General Assembly, which is gathering today to discuss the Goldstone Report, should have investigated and condemned,” Netanyahu declared.
“The international community should be focusing on this,” he said. “But instead, the world condemns Israel and the Israel Defense Forces and undermines our right to self defense.”
The weapons were to be shipped from Iran to Syria, and from there to Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah, Netanyahu said. “The bulk of the shipment included rockets whose aim is to hurt our civilians and kill as many civilians as possible,” he charged.
The shipment of weapons to Middle East terrorists is “a blatant violation of Security Council resolutions,” he added.
The prime minister made his statements at a news conference in Tel Aviv, where he was joined by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin, and Naval Commander Eli Marom.
During the conference, Netanyahu thanked the military officers present for their role in stopping the ship. The ship was intercepted by a commando unit on Tuesday night after intelligence tracked it for several days.
Yadlin noted that the weapons shipment served as evidence of Iranian involvement in terrorism throughout the region. Iran also provides terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hizbullah with funding and training, he said.