Civilian death toll due to wars rises 72 percent in 2023

Число погибших из-за войн гражданских лиц в 2023 году выросло на 72 процента

Palestinians who fled their homes prepare food outside an UNRWA center in central Gaza. Civilian death toll due to wars rises 72 percent in 2023 Peace and Security

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Tuesday condemned Israel’s relentless strikes across war-torn Gaza and repeated his call for the release of all remaining hostages.

In his customary opening remarks at the opening of the 56th session of the Human Rights Council, now taking place in Geneva, the High Commissioner reiterated his office’s grave concern that war crimes have been committed by both sides since the outbreak of the conflict on October 7, caused by the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. .

“We are witnessing unimaginable suffering and death,” said Volker Türk. – Since October 7, intensive Israeli offensive operations in Gaza have killed or wounded more than 120 thousand people, mostly women and children. /h2>

The High Commissioner noted that since Israeli troops stepped up operations in Rafah in early May, nearly a million Palestinians have once again been forced to flee their homes and the delivery of aid has been extremely difficult .

“Israel continues to obstruct the delivery of humanitarian aid and arbitrarily detain thousands of Palestinians. This must end,” said Volker Türk. UN aid workers report that thousands of families sheltering in Deir el-Balah are living in conditions of overcrowding, poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water.

“Food distribution is irregular. People report a range of health problems, such as hepatitis A, skin and respiratory diseases,” reports the UN Office of the High Commissioner for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Situation in the West Bank

Volker Türk warned of a rapidly deteriorating situation in the occupied West Bank amid increasing attacks.

“Since October last year, Israeli security forces and settlers have killed 528 Palestinians, 133 of whom were children,” Volker Türk said. “During the same period, 23 Israelis, including eight members of the Israeli security forces, were killed in clashes with or attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and Israel.”

Global the cost of war

Assessing the impact of wars around the world, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that the number of civilian deaths in armed conflict rose by 72 percent last year. The number of women killed in conflicts in 2023 doubled and the number of children tripled compared to the year before.

“Killing and injuring civilians has become an everyday occurrence,” Volker stressed Turk. – The destruction of vital infrastructure is also a daily occurrence. Hospitals are being bombed. Heavy artillery shells populated areas. And all this is happening against a backdrop of growing hatred, division and inhumane rhetoric.”

War in Ukraine

Addressing situation in Ukraine, the High Commissioner said that the Russian military’s ground offensive in the Kharkiv region had destroyed the lives of “entire communities.” Local residents hid in basements without electricity, water or food as the region was subjected to intense attacks with wide-area explosive devices. Volker Türk condemned “repeated waves of large-scale attacks” on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which have knocked out 68 percent of electricity generation capacity.


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