(Communicated by the Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva)
It is shocking to read the High Commissioner's utterly shortsighted press release regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Most disturbing is the way she casually refers to Palestinian aggression in the very last sentence of her statement, as almost an afterthought. Unfortunately, Israel does not have the option of being so casual in its response to rocket and mortar attacks on its civilians, attacks which violate the most fundamental right of all, the right to life.
Overall responsibility for the situation in the Gaza Strip lies with Hamas, which invests all of its resources in arms and terrorism instead of providing for the civilians that it brutally controls. The Hamas terrorist organization and affiliated Palestinian terrorist groups have fired more than 170 rockets and mortars at Israel during the past 10 days, with 25 slamming into Israel over the weekend alone. Israel is committed to maintaining the state of calm, but expects Hamas to also uphold its commitments, including cessation of terrorism and ending the arms build-up.
It is disappointing to see the High Commissioner fall victim to Hamas' cynical manipulation of the media, and reprint blatant misinformation in her press release. Electricity and water continue to flow from Israel to Gaza, and 33 trucks laden with supplies arrived in Gaza yesterday, with more waiting to enter as soon as Hamas ends its violent attacks.
Rather than engaging in the political game being promoted by the Palestinians, Israel expects the High Commissioner to investigate the facts before issuing one-sided statements about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and to begin by forcefully condemning the perpetrators of terror.