Israel Palestine Conflict

UN experts warn of impending genocide, humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

A group of UN-mandated human rights experts, including the special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, said Thursday that “time is running out to prevent genocide and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.”

“We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” the experts said in a joint statement.

“The time for action is now. Israel’s allies also bear responsibility and must act now to prevent its disastrous course of action.”

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

UN special rapporteurs are unpaid, independent figures mandated by the Human Rights Council. They do not speak for the United Nations but report their findings to it as part of the council’s fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms.

“The situation in Gaza has reached a catastrophic tipping point,” the experts said, warning of the “dire need” for food, water, medicine, fuel and essential supplies and the risk of looming health hazards.

The statement was signed by Francesca Albanese, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.

The other signatories were the special rapporteurs on safe drinking water; food; physical and mental health; internally displaced persons; freedom of expression; and on contemporary racism.

Israel has heavily bombarded Gaza since Hamas gunmen stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping at least 240 others, including children, according to Israeli officials.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 9,000 people have been killed since the war with Israel erupted, mostly women and children.

The UN experts called for the immediate release of all civilians being held captive since the Hamas attack.

“All parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law,” they said.

“We demand a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure that aid reaches those who need it the most. A ceasefire also means channels of communication can be opened to ensure the release of hostages,” the experts said.

Gaza’s Hamas-ruled government said 195 people were killed in two days of Israeli strikes on Jabalia, Gaza’s largest refugee camp, with hundreds more missing and wounded -- figures AFP could not independently verify.

The UN experts voiced “deepening horror” about the strikes, calling them “a brazen violation of international law -- and a war crime”.

“Attacking a camp sheltering civilians including women and children is a complete breach of the rules of proportionality and distinction between combatants and civilians,” the special rapporteurs said.

“Israel and Palestinian armed groups must bear in mind that even wars have rules.”

Read more:

Blinken to discuss Palestinian civilians' protection during Israel visit

Gaza health ministry says 27 killed in Israel strike near UN school

Iran executing people at ‘alarming rate,’ up by 30 percent: UN report

Top Content Trending