OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is taking aim at the United Nations once again, this time over comments a senior official made about Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the UN High Commissioner's criticism of Israel's response to rocket attacks from Gaza are uncalled for.

Navi Pillay said this week that there should be an immediate ceasefire, citing reports of many civilian casualties.

In a statement issued Saturday, Baird accused Pillay of focusing her comments on Israel and said that is neither "helpful nor reflective of the reality of this crisis."

Baird says there can't be any "moral equivalence" between a democratic state like Israel and Hamas, which he calls a listed terrorist organization with a blatant disregard for human life.

He says Israel's military has taken extraordinary steps to reduce civilian casualties.

Harper has been a fervent supporter of Israel and a long-time critic of the United Nations and its officials.

Israeli officials have said round-the-clock airstrikes have hit Hamas hard, taking out some of the militant group's rocket-launchers and storage sites.

Israel took action this week in response to what it said was weeks of heavy rocket fire out of the Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • An Israeli missile explodes on impact in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

  • Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip seen from the Israeli side of the Israel Gaza Border, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Since the Gaza offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza, killing at least 32 people in a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. Only four rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel overnight, the army said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday striking sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel.(AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Palestinians try to salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Israel launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the military said, striking at least 50 sites in Gaza by air and sea and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in order to quell rocket attacks on Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Palestinians try to salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Israel launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the military said, striking at least 50 sites in Gaza by air and sea and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in order to quell rocket attacks on Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Israeli soldiers wave from a tank moving into position on the Israel-Gaza Border, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched a major offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking more than 100 sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in what Israel says is an operation aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to halt the airstrikes immediately and appealed for calm, however, he has little influence over a Gaza Strip that is ruled by Hamas militants who violently overthrew forces loyal to him in 2007. Smaller and more radical forces than Hamas are also involved in rocket fire from Gaza. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Smoke and a ball of fire rises after an Israeli missile strike in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to halt the airstrikes immediately and appealed for calm, however he has little influence over a Gaza Strip that is ruled by Hamas militants who violently overthrew forces loyal to him in 2007. Smaller and more radical forces than Hamas are also involved in rocket fire from Gaza. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Palestinians try to salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Israel launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the military said, striking at least 50 sites in Gaza by air and sea and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in order to quell rocket attacks on Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Smoke rises following an Israeli strike on Gaza, as seen from the Israel-Gaza Border, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched a major offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking more than 100 sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in what Israel says is an operation aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers at the gates of the Beit El Jewish settlement in the Israel occupied West Bank near Ramallah on July 9, 2014, as they protest against the bombardment of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli air force. The Israeli air force bombed 160 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight as it pressed a wide scale campaign to stop volleys of Palestinian rocket fire, an army official said. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A smoke trail of a rocket lunched from inside the Gaza Strip makes its way towards Israel as seen from the Israel-Gaza Border, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.The Israeli military launched a major offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking more than 100 sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in what Israel says is an operation aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Israeli strikes on Gaza are seen from the Israel-Gaza Border, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched a major offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking more than 100 sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in what Israel says is an operation aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers at the gates of the Beit El Jewish settlement in the Israel occupied West Bank near Ramallah on July 9, 2014, as they protest against the bombardment of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli air force. The Israeli air force bombed 160 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight as it pressed a wide scale campaign to stop volleys of Palestinian rocket fire, an army official said. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 9, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 100, emergency services said, as the military began an aerial campaign against militants in the Strip. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Israeli artillery strikes a Palestinian Hamas police building during an airstrike in Gaza City on July 8, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 100, emergency services said, as the military began an aerial campaign against militants in the Strip. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Israeli artillery flares illuminate the sky over Gaza City following an air strike on July 8, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza today killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 100, the emergency services said, as the military began an aerial campaign against militants in the Strip. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Damage caused by a rocket fired from Gaza strip hitting the city of Ashdod, Israel is seen on June 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A picture taken in the southern Israeli border with Gaza shows smoke billowing after a mortar attack launched from the Gaza Strip set a bush on fire, on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes killed at least 15 Palestinians in Gaza today, as well as another four militants who tried to infiltrate Israel by sea at the start of a major operation against rocketfire. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)