United Nations rights chief Volker Turk says that the Palestinians of Gaza had been living in “disastrous” humanitarian situations. (Photo: AFP)
GENEVA – Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are living in “horrible, deep distress”, the United Nations human rights chief mentioned on Wednesday, as he pleaded for a right away ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Volker Turk mentioned there was a excessive danger of aggressive crimes being dedicated in such “disastrous” humanitarian circumstances.”
“Civilians in Gaza are being perpetuated by Israel and punished collectively – demise, siege, destruction and deprivation of essentially the most fundamental human wants corresponding to meals, water, life-saving medical provides and different necessities on an enormous scale,” mentioned he with a press convention.
“The Palestinians in Gaza are living in horror.”
He mentioned 1.9 million of the two.2 million folks in the Palestinian Authority had been displaced and had been being pushed into “ever-shrinking and overcrowded areas in southern Gaza, in unsanitary and unsanitary situations”.
“The catastrophic scenario we see unfolding in the Gaza Strip was predictable and preventable.
“In these circumstances, there may be an elevated danger of atrocious crimes,” mentioned the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“As a right away step, I ask for an pressing cease to the hostilities and the discharge of all of the hostages,” he mentioned, including: “you should come again to your senses”.
Israel declared conflict on Hamas following the militant group’s October 7 assaults that killed 1,200 folks, largely civilians, in keeping with Israeli authorities, and noticed round 240 hostages taken into Gaza.
The newest toll from the Hamas-run authorities’s media workplace mentioned 16,248 folks in Gaza, largely ladies and youngsters, had been killed.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas and maintain 138 hostages who had been nonetheless at giant after scores had been launched throughout a short-lived ceasefire.
Turk mentioned he was deeply involved about “dehumanizing and provocative statements” made by Israeli officers and former Israeli officers, in addition to Hamas figures.
“History has proven us the place this sort of language can lead,” he mentioned.
“Not solely is that this unacceptable, however a reliable court docket might even see such statements, in the circumstances in which they had been made, as an incitement to crimes of ignorance.”
Rejecting the sharp rise in hate speech world wide in the previous two months – significantly anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry – he mentioned political leaders who use “inflammatory, poisonous and hateful rhetoric … should be condemned vigorously”.
Push for peace
Turk mentioned the human rights disaster in the occupied West Bank was “extraordinarily alarming”, calling on Israeli authorities to take rapid steps to finish “widespread impunity” for violations.
“The solely strategy to finish the cumulative sufferings is to finish the occupation and obtain the two-state resolution,” he mentioned.
Turk mentioned he met with Palestinians and Israelis who need a peaceable future for either side, whose voices weren’t heard for the time being.
“I hope they are going to be a lot stronger in the long run,” he mentioned.
“One factor could be very clear: it can not return to what it was.”