Ms. Kyung-wha Kang seemingly intentionally failed to mention the systematic and indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians which according to the UN amount to a grave war crime.

(Communicated by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva)

"Israel deeply regrets the biased, irresponsible and inappropriate statement of Kyung-wha Kang , Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Human Rights Council under the notorious item 7 discussion which took place on Monday, July 2, 2012.

In her statement on behalf of the High Commissioner, Ms. Kyung-wha Kang seemingly intentionally failed to mention the systematic and indiscriminate firing of rockets from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians which according to the UN amount to a grave war crime. Refreshing the short memory of the Deputy High Commissioner, since the beginning of 2012 alone, there have been more than 300 rockets and Grad missiles, hundreds of mortar shells fired from Gaza by Palestinian terrorists towards schools, offices and homes inside Israel. Dozens of such attacks have taken place over the past month. Thousands of rockets and missiles have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip and stored in civilian areas, basements of residences, schools and hospitals endangering Palestinian civilians. And yet, no mention of such violations could be heard in Ms. Kyung-wha Kang’s statement. Where else outside the scandalous Human Rights Council chamber would Israel’s acts of self-defense be considered "provocative"?

Such a consistently biased approach, ignoring the rights of Israelis to live in peace and security, is contrary to the most basic principle of "independent, impartial, objective and professional" work that should be the hallmark of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The High Commissioner herself referred to that standard when responding to the decision of the Government of Israel to suspend its working relations with her Office and the HRC. Today’s statement by Deputy High Commissioner Kyung-wha Kang provides a further explanation to Israel’s decision to suspend relations with the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.

Israel, like all states, has a basic duty and responsibility to protect its citizens from any prominent threat, even if those threats are ignored in the Human Rights Council. If the High Commissioner is really concerned about Israel’s suspension of relations with her office, then she should clearly and unequivocally ensure the principles of "independence, impartiality, objectivity and professionalism."