Publish date20 Jun 2024 - 19:25
Story Code : 639855

UN condemns Israeli regime for ‘weaponizing’ aid provision for ‘political gains’

A United Nations Commissioner has slammed Israel’s ‘total siege’ of the Gaza Strip and weaponizing the delivery of life-sustaining necessities for strategic and political gains.
UN condemns Israeli regime for ‘weaponizing’ aid provision for ‘political gains’
Navi Pillay, chairperson of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory said on Wednesday, “In relation to Israel’s military operations and attacks in Gaza from 7 October, we conclude that Israeli authorities are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”.

The crimes included “extermination, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, murder or wilful killing, using starvation as a method of war, forcible transfer, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture, and cruel or inhuman treatment.”

Presenting the report on the commission’s findings to the UN Human Rights Council, Pillay said Israel’s “total siege” of the Gaza Strip “has weaponized the provision of life-sustaining necessities for strategic and political gains” including through cutting off supplies of water, food, electricity, fuel and other essential supplies, including humanitarian assistance.

“It constitutes collective punishment, disproportionately impacting pregnant women and persons with disabilities, and is causing grave harm to children, including starvation-related deaths.”Pillay said the deliberate use of heavy weapons in densely populated areas constituted “an intentional strategy to cause maximum damage” to the civilian population.

The action disregarded “the legal obligations of distinction, proportionality and adequate proportions.”

The Commission found Israeli forces committed sexual and gender-based violence with the intent to humiliate and further subordinate the Palestinian community.

The blatant disregard for international law across the entire occupied Palestinian territory had disproportionately impacted Palestinian children, Pillay emphasized.

In Gaza, Israeli forces had killed and maimed tens of thousands of children, and thousands more likely remain under the rubble.

Israeli attacks had also severely impacted infrastructure essential for children’s well-being, including hospitals, schools and basic services, the report concluded.

The UN Commissioner also reportedly said the October 7 resistance operation and Israel’s subsequent military operation in Gaza “have not occurred in a vacuum.”

“They were preceded by decades of violence and retribution, dispossession, unlawful occupation and denial of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination,” Pillay said, as cited by the Anadolu news agency.

She said the Commission would continue its investigations into all crimes under international law with the aim of achieving justice and accountability.

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,396 Palestinians have been killed and 85,523 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.
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