UN experts say Israel’s strikes on Gaza amount to ‘collective punishment’

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A group of independent United Nations experts on Thursday condemned violence against civilians in Israel and deplored that reprisal strikes against Gaza amounted to “collective punishment.”

While condemning the “horrific crimes committed by Hamas”, the group said that Israel had resorted to “indiscriminate military attacks against the already exhausted Palestinian people of Gaza.”

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“They have lived under unlawful blockade for 16 years, and already gone through five major brutal wars, which remain unaccounted for,” the group, which includes several UN special rapporteurs, said in a statement.

“This amounts to collective punishment. There is no justification for violence that indiscriminately targets innocent civilians, whether by Hamas or Israeli forces. This is absolutely prohibited under international law and amounts to a war crime.”

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