UN top official calls for holding Israel accountable for violating international humanitarian law in Gaza

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk
UN top official calls for holding Israel accountable for violating international humanitarian law in Gaza
New York- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Monday warned that civilian deaths, suffering, and destruction were set to increase beyond already unbearable levels following Israel’s orders to Palestinians to evacuate parts of Rafah ahead of an anticipated new offensive.اضافة اعلان

"Gazans continue to be hit with bombs, disease, and even famine. And today, they have been told that they must relocate yet again as Israeli military operations into Rafah scale up," the High Commissioner said.

"This is inhumane. It runs contrary to the basic principles of international humanitarian and human rights laws, which have the effective protection of civilians as their overriding concern.

"Forcibly relocating hundreds of thousands from Rafah to areas which have already been flattened and where there is little shelter and virtually no access to humanitarian assistance necessary for their survival is inconceivable. It will only expose them to more danger and misery."

Overnight, at least 26 Palestinians in Rafah were reportedly killed, mostly children and women. Today, two crossings into Rafah have been shut, completely halting the inflow of meagre levels of humanitarian aid.

"More attacks on what is now the primary humanitarian hub in the Gaza strip are not the answer," said Türk. "The lessons of the past seven months of conflict in Gaza are clear – with women and children making up over 70 percent of the more than 120,000 killed, wounded and missing. Enough of the killing.
"First and foremost, there must be a ceasefire. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to flow freely and at scale. And the hostages and those arbitrarily detained must be released at once."

After more than half a year of relentless strikes by the Israeli Forces across Gaza, there is no location outside of Rafah with the infrastructure and resources to host the mass displacement of over one million people, he added.

International humanitarian law prohibits ordering the displacement of civilians for reasons related to the conflict, unless the security of civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand, and even then subject to strict legal requirements. Failure to meet these obligations may amount to forced displacement, which is a war crime.

"Yet the experience of the past seven months shows Palestinians who remain in Rafah will continue to be at risk of death and injury, whether by indiscriminate bombing, unlawful killing, or loss of access to food, water and healthcare," said Türk. "This must not be allowed to happen.

"Those that elect to flout international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be held to account."

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