High Commissioner for Human Rights urges space ‘for a path out of this horror’
The High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for “creating the political space for a path out of this horror”, referring to the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza.
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He stressed that attacks directed at “hospitals, schools, markets and bakeries” as well as collective punishment “in the case of Israel’s blockade and siege imposed on Gaza” are prohibited under international humanitarian law.
Addressing the desperate humanitarian situation in the enclave after briefing Member States and journalists in Geneva, Türk highlighted multiple patient deaths at Gaza City’s besieged Al-Shifa hospital and the proliferation of Israeli attacks on healthcare in the Strip.
The UN rights chief spoke of people forced to move south by Israeli bombardments and fighting on the ground, “carrying elderly family members, and terrified, sometimes wounded children, moving slowly on a bomb-cratered road”, and of those unable to move who remain trapped in sealed-off northern Gaza.
Putting hostilities on hold to give space to humanitarian action, as called for by Security Council resolution 2712 adopted on Wednesday night, is “critically necessary”, Türk said.
Türk also stressed that the crisis “extends well beyond Gaza”, with a “potentially explosive” situation in the occupied West Bank, where settler attacks against Palestinians and the use of military means in law enforcement operations are on the rise.