Israel’s Rafah invasion must stop now, say UN experts by Francesca Albanese, Tomoya Obokata

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“In light of the grievous humanitarian situation on the ground, no evacuation order issued by Israel can be considered compliant with international humanitarian law,” they said. International law stipulates that Israel must ensure displaced civilians are protected and have continuous access to food, safe water, and medical assistance. “This is even more critical when Israel has been warned that its acts may amount to genocide,” the experts said. “Further displacement of Gaza’s population through evacuation orders or military operations contravenes binding provisional measures imposed on Israel by the International Court of Justice.”

…“States with influence over Israel have described any incursion into Rafah as a ‘red line’,” the experts said. “They must immediately put those words into practice and stop this disastrous campaign by ending the flow of arms into Israel and withholding investment and political support.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/05/israels-rafah-invasion-must-stop-now-say-un-experts

Onslaught of violence against women and children in Gaza unacceptable: UN experts by Reem Alsalem and others

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“The treatment of pregnant and lactating women continues to be appalling, with the direct bombardment of hospitals and deliberate denial of access to health care facilities by Israeli snipers, combined with the lack of beds and medical resources placing an estimated 50,000 pregnant Palestinian women and 20,000 new-born babies at unimaginable risk. Over 183 women per day are giving birth without pain relief, while hundreds of babies have died because of a lack of electricity to power incubators,” they said. “The dreadful conditions have resulted in increases in miscarriages by up to 300 percent. 95 per cent of pregnant and breastfeeding women face severe food poverty”.

The experts said women in labour deliver their babies in horrific circumstances. According to UNFPA, around 155,000 pregnant women and new mothers are struggling to survive and access basic health care. In addition, an estimated 690,000 women and girls in Gaza who require menstrual hygiene supplies are unable to manage their menstrual cycle in privacy and with dignity with some reports of contraceptive pills being taken to avoid the unhygienic menstrual conditions.

… “Nothing illustrates systematic violence being inflicted on women and their children better than the story of an infant who was saved from her mother’s womb after she was killed in an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip, and died days later in an incubator on 26 April,” the experts said.

They were dismayed at continued reports of sexual assault and violence against women and girls, including against those detained by Israeli occupation forces. 

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/05/onslaught-violence-against-women-and-children-gaza-unacceptable-un-experts

“We’ve Become Addicted to Explosions” The IDF Unit Responsible for Demolishing Homes Across Gaza by Bellingcat

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We asked Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on adequate housing and the Professor of Law and Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about the demolitions carried out by 8219 Commando. He told us that these demolitions were relevant to the ICJ case on genocide, supporting South Africa’s case that Israel was, in effect, rendering Gaza uninhabitable. 

Continue reading at https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2024/04/29/weve-become-addicted-to-explosions-the-idf-unit-responsible-for-demolishing-homes-across-gaza/

Gaza: UN experts deplore use of purported AI to commit ‘domicide’ in Gaza, call for reparative approach to rebuilding by Balakrishnan Rajagopal

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According to the experts, the systematic and widespread destruction of housing, services and civilian infrastructure represents a crime against humanity, a domicide, as well as numerous war crimes and acts of genocide as described by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territory in her recent report to the Human Rights Council. With Israeli public officials joining calls for Palestinians to leave Gaza, to “take back Gaza” to build settlements again, and ostensible enthusiasm expressed by prominent former US government officials for “Gaza beachfront” properties, there is little doubt that Israel’s intent goes far beyond the purposes of military defeat of Hamas, they noted… “We are especially concerned about the alleged use of AI to target ‘family homes’ of suspected Hamas operatives, typically at night when they sleep, with unguided munitions known as ‘dumb’ bombs, with little regard for civilians who may be in or around that home,” they said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/04/gaza-un-experts-deplore-use-purported-ai-commit-domicide-gaza-call

Arms exports to Israel must stop immediately: UN experts on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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  • “The need for an arms embargo on Israel is heightened by the International Court of Justice’s ruling on 26 January 2024 that there is a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza and the continuing serious harm to civilians since then”, the experts said. The Genocide Convention of 1948 requires States parties to employ all means reasonably available to them to prevent genocide in another state as far as possible. “This necessitates halting arms exports in the present circumstances”, the experts said.
  • The experts welcomed the suspension of arms transfers to Israel by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Japanese company Itochu Corporation. The European Union also recently discouraged arms exports to Israel.
  • The experts urged other States to immediately halt arms transfers to Israel, including export licenses and military aid. The United States and Germany are by far the largest arms exporters and shipments have increased since 7 October 2023. Other military exporters include France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

…“State officials involved in arms exports may be individually criminally liable for aiding and abetting any war crimes, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide,” the experts said. “All States under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and the International Criminal Court, may be able to investigate and prosecute such crimes.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/02/arms-exports-israel-must-stop-immediately-un-experts

States must reinstate and strengthen support to UNRWA amid unfolding genocide in Gaza: UN experts on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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  • With the ICJ alerting the international community to the risk of genocide in Gaza and ordering immediate and effective action to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians, states must do more, including to avoid legal consequences for aiding and abetting, or possible complicity in acts of genocide,” they said. “Instead of castigating the agency that provides critical support for millions of Palestinians in Gaza, states must exhaust all efforts to avert serious violations of international law, including genocide—and this necessitates continued international support of UNRWA’s vital humanitarian services.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/02/states-must-reinstate-and-strengthen-support-unrwa-amid-unfolding-genocide

UN human rights experts welcome start of ICJ genocide hearings in The Hague, reiterate call for ceasefire by UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Margaret Satterthwaite and others

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  • GENEVA (11 January 2024) – UN human rights experts* today welcomed the start of hearings before the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) of a case brought by South Africa concerning allegations that Israel is committing acts of genocide against the Palestinian people. The experts emphasized that any decision the Court reaches on provisional measures must be respected and implemented by the parties to the dispute, as required by the ICJ Statute.

… “South Africa’s case has broader implications for all States – not only those that have ratified the Convention – as all are obligated both to refrain from committing genocide, and to prevent and punish it wherever it occurs. All States must act together to prevent, halt, and punish genocide,” the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/01/un-human-rights-experts-welcome-start-icj-genocide-hearings-hague-reiterate

Gaza: UN experts call on international community to prevent genocide against the Palestinian people by UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese and others

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“Many of us already raised the alarm about the risk of genocide in Gaza,” the experts said. “We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire. We are also profoundly concerned about the support of certain governments for Israel’s strategy of warfare against the besieged population of Gaza, and the failure of the international system to mobilise to prevent genocide,” they said.

…“The international community has an obligation to prevent atrocity crimes, including genocide, and should immediately consider all diplomatic, political and economic measures to that end,” the experts said. They urged immediate action by UN Member States and the UN system as a whole.

…“The international community, including not only States but also non-State actors such as businesses, must do everything it can to immediately end the risk of genocide against the Palestinian people, and ultimately end Israeli apartheid and occupation of the Palestinian territory,” the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/11/gaza-un-experts-call-international-community-prevent-genocide-against

Gaza: UN experts decry bombing of hospitals and schools as crimes against humanity, call for prevention of genocide on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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“We are sounding the alarm: There is an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza. Considering statements made by Israeli political leaders and their allies, accompanied by military action in Gaza and escalation of arrests and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestine people,” the experts said.

“There are no justifications or exceptions for such crimes. We are appalled by the inaction of the international community in the face of belligerent war-mongering,” the experts said.

“The Gazan population, half of whom are children, have already suffered many decades of unlawful brutal occupation and lived under the blockade for 16 years,” the experts said.

“It is time to immediately cease fire and ensure urgent and unimpeded access to essential humanitarian supplies, including food, water, shelter, medicine, fuel and electricity. The physical safety of the civilian population must be guaranteed,” the experts said.

“The occupation needs to end and there must be reparation, restitution and reconstruction, towards full justice for Palestinians.” 

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/10/gaza-un-experts-decry-bombing-hospitals-and-schools-crimes-against-humanity

UN experts say Israel should be held accountable for acts of ‘domicide’ by United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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The international community must take action to stop systematic and deliberate housing demolition and sealing, arbitrary displacement and forced evictions of Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, UN experts* said today.

… “The systematic demolition of Palestinian homes, erection of illegal Israeli settlements and systematic denial of building permits for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank amounts to “domicide”.

… “Direct attacks on the Palestinian people’s homes, schools, livelihoods and water sources are nothing but Israel’s attempts to curtail the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to threaten their very existence,” the experts said.

… The experts have repeatedly raised concerns with the Government of Israel on these issues. No response has been received to date.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/02/un-experts-say-israel-should-be-held-accountable-acts-domicide