Israel envoy blasts UN report on Palestinians as 'biased'
Gabriela Shalev to UN chief: Report uses 'flawed terminology,' reflects 'distorted reality' in Gaza.
The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday blasted a report on Israel's conduct vis-a-vis the Palestinians, put together by the UN Humanitarian Affairs chief John Holmes.
In a strident letter addressed to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Gabriela Shalev accused the UN of political bias, ahead of a special Security Council session devoted to "the protection of civilians in armed conflicts."
"I sincerely hope that future reports in the name of the secretary general will avoid politically-charged semantics, accusations and omissions," she wrote.
Holmes' report is likely to be discussed in great detail during the Security Council session. The report implicitly accused Israel of human rights violations, and blasted the impact of Israel's policy on the Palestinian civilian population.
"I write to express my deep concern regarding the report on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts," Shalev also wrote. "The portion of the report regarding the situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip is deeply disturbing. They not only embrace flawed terminology but reflect a distorted reality that wholly fails to address the situation on the ground in an accurate manner."
"The report completely ignores the context in which Israel's defensive actions were taken, while it made no mention of Israel's extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties. Equally alarming is the failure to mention the thousands of missile fired by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip into Israel," Shalev concluded.