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Letter dated 12 March 2012 from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
I write this letter as 1 million people in southern Israel continue to be terrorized yet another weekend, fearing for their lives, enduring barrage after barrage of rocket attacks.
During the past 72 hours, more than 200 rockets have been indiscriminately fired at southern Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip, including over 50 Grad missiles. Targeting civilians’ homes, synagogues , schools and parks, one of the rockets met its mark and landed directly on a school. I ask you to imagine the atrocity had the children been in school at the time the rocket hit its target. These terrorist attacks have further caused civilian injuries and property destruction in large southern cities, such as Be'er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon.
For the last 11 years, Israeli citizens have lived in a constant state of fear and terror, running to fortified rooms with only 15 seconds to spare, unable to live the life human rights afford. The Hamas terrorist organization and other terrorist groups continue to launch strikes from the Gaza Strip, using more advanced models of weaponry with an increased range of target, which results in greater destruction. These terrorist attacks are directed at civilian objects and deliberately target Israeli civilians in the effort to kill, maim and demoralize our population, preying on our children by striking their schools and homes – a common practice for our enemies.
Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization fully responsible for all attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip , where it remains in de facto control. Israel has exercised and will continue to exercise its right to self-defence, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens. In this regard, the Israel Defense Forces steadfastly adhere to the principles of international humanitarian law.
I reiterate my call to your Office, and to the international community, to collectively speak in one voice against these attacks and to defend Israel’s right to live in peace and security. All too often, Israel is singled out for criticism, and yet when our enemies strike against us, the international community responds with a resounding silence. Without such public condemnation, the international community gives its silent approval to Hamas and other terrorist organizations to continue to harm innocent Israeli civilians. In this regard, I further recall the principles of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues at the Human Rights Council and the elimination of double standards and politicization, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 60/251. I sincerely hope that you, in your capacity as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, speak up for the people of Israel and publicly condemn these indiscriminate attacks at the current session of the Council.