Turk at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council: the “bloodbath” in Gaza must stop

Тюрк на заседании Совета ООН по правам человека: «кровавая бойня» в Газе должна прекратиться

Many schools in Gaza were destroyed by direct attacks. Turk at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council: the “bloodbath” in Gaza must stop Human rights

The “bloodbath” in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of more than 30 thousand people, must be stopped immediately. This was stated by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, during a session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) on Thursday.

For almost five months – since the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 – Israeli bombing and mass displacement of the population have continued in the enclave.

“The war in Gaza must end,” Turk said. He stressed that the time is long overdue for peace, as well as investigations into violations of international humanitarian law and bringing to justice those responsible for alleged war crimes on both sides.

According to the official UN Representative Stephane Dujarric, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was shocked by reports that the death toll in the conflict in Gaza has exceeded 30 thousand people, and 70 thousand injured. In addition, an unknown number of people remain under the rubble.

The UN chief also condemned Thursday’s incident in the north of the sector, in which more than a hundred people were reportedly killed and wounded while they waited for humanitarian aid to arrive. Desperate civilians in the enclave need urgent support, especially in the besieged northern areas where the UN has been unable to reach for more than a week, Guterres said in a statement.

The Secretary-General renewed his call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages, as well as measures to distribute humanitarian aid to all those in need.

The sector has become uninhabitable

“There are no words to describe the boundless horrors that are unfolding in Gaza before our eyes,” the High Commissioner said as he presented to the Council a report by the United Nations Office of Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Noting the unprecedented number of killings and mutilations of civilians in the enclave, Türk also said that at least 17 thousand children were orphaned or separated from their families.

He again condemned “shocking” and “unjustified” Hamas attacks on October 7, as well as the taking of Israeli hostages.

Turk reported that at least three-quarters of Gaza’s population had been forced to leave their homes due to the war. Entire neighborhoods were “systematically destroyed” in the process, making the sector largely uninhabitable, the UN’s chief human rights lawyer added.

Тюрк на заседании Совета ООН по правам человека: «кровавая бойня» в Газе должна прекратиться

Civilians at gunpoint

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, Turk said that since October 7, the Israeli military has used thousands of tons of ammunition in populated areas throughout Gaza.

The High Commissioner stressed that the weapons used by Israel create a powerful blast wave that can rupture internal organs and heat the air, which leads to severe burns .

“Last November at the Arish Hospital in Egypt, I saw children whose bodies were singed. I will never forget this,” said Turk.

“Indiscriminate or disproportionate” Israeli shelling is believed to have left tens of thousands of Gazans missing and at risk of being buried under rubble, the High Commissioner said.

Turk also condemned the shelling of Israel by Palestinian armed groups.

Position of the world community

Virtually all 47 HRC member states supported the High Commissioner’s position: condemning attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, calling for the immediate release of hostages still held in Gaza, as well as a ceasefire and prosecution of those responsible in violation of the laws and customs of war to liability. In addition, the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state is necessary, Turk believes.

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Israel’s position

The Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN agencies in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, condemned the Hamas attacks and reiterated the unfounded accusations against the UN.

Shahar also asserted her country’s right to defend itself under international humanitarian law.

“Israel is fighting in Gaza on a battlefield created by Hamas, – said the delegate. “There, terrorists hide behind and among the civilian population. The UN watched these conditions being created for years and chose to ignore them.”

“We must attack Hamas, otherwise they will continue to attack us,” the Israeli spokeswoman added.

Prevent a massacre

Applause interrupted the meeting after Palestinian representative Ibrahim Khraishi issued a strong condemnation of the Hamas-led massacres in Israel that have escalated the conflict.

At the same time, according to him, “no one truly condemns the fact that women, children and the elderly are being killed in Gaza.”

Among the victims are about 12 thousand children and 8 thousand women, Khraishi emphasized. He recalled reports that the day before, dozens of Palestinians had been killed by the Israeli army in Gaza City while they waited for aid trucks to arrive.

“Are these militants, this is a living shield?,” he asked, before calling on the international community to prevent another “massacre” in Rafah. This refers to the impending full-scale offensive by Israeli forces, which will begin if a ceasefire is not reached.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights previously warned against an Israeli ground offensive on Rafah , where 1.5 million people are currently taking refuge despite ongoing bombing. war crimes and will lead to the flight of the population to new unsafe places where there will be no conditions for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid. Such an operation is contrary to the provisional measures adopted by the International Court of Justice, the High Commissioner added.


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