UN experts condemn ‘flour massacre’, urge Israel to end campaign of starvation in Gaza by Michael Fakhri

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  • “Israel has been intentionally starving the Palestinian people in Gaza since 8 October. Now it is targeting civilians seeking humanitarian aid and humanitarian convoys,” the UN experts said. 
  • … Israeli troops fired on crowds of Palestinians gathered to collect flour in the south-west of Gaza City on 29 February, killing at least 112 people and injuring some 760.
  • “The attack came after Israel has denied humanitarian aid into Gaza City and northern Gaza for more than a month,” the experts said.
  • They noted that the 29 February massacre followed a pattern of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians seeking aid, with over 14 recorded incidents of shooting, shelling and targeting groups gathered to receive urgently needed supplies from trucks or airdrops between mid-January and the end of February 2024.
  • “Israel has also opened fire on humanitarian aid convoys on several occasions, despite the fact that the convoys shared their coordinates with Israel,” the experts said.
  • On 26 January, the International Court of Justice recognised the plausibility of Israel committing genocide and ordered it to allow the delivery of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

… Fifteen children have already died of malnutrition at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza City, and there are fears that the figures could be higher in other hospitals. 

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/03/un-experts-condemn-flour-massacre-urge-israel-end-campaign-starvation-gaza

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

Gaza: ICJ ruling offers hope for protection of civilians enduring apocalyptic conditions, say UN experts by UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese and others

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  • GENEVA (31 January 2024) – The landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) offers the first concrete hope to protect civilians in Gaza enduring apocalyptic humanitarian conditions, destruction, mass killing, wounding and irreparable trauma, UN experts* said today… The court order is urgently needed to protect the very existence of the Palestinian people…

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/01/gaza-icj-ruling-offers-hope-protection-civilians-enduring-apocalyptic

Over one hundred days into the war, Israel destroying Gaza’s food system and weaponizing food, say UN human rights experts by Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri and others

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  • “We have raised the alarm of the risk of genocide several times reminding all governments they have a duty to prevent genocide. Not only is Israel killing and causing irreparable harm against Palestinian civilians with its indiscriminate bombardments, it is also knowingly and intentionally imposing a high rate of disease, prolonged malnutrition, dehydration, and starvation by destroying civilian infrastructure,” said the experts. “Aid needs to be delivered to Gazans immediately and without any hindrance to prevent starvation.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/01/over-one-hundred-days-war-israel-destroying-gazas-food-system-and

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

UN experts urge States to unite for peace and push for ceasefire in Gaza on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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They reiterated their previous statement warning against the commission of genocide and their recommendations:

  1. 1- Allow unimpeded delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza, including reproductive health supplies;
  2. 2- Ensure the immediate, unconditional, safe and secure release of the hostages taken by Hamas;
  3. 3- Ensure that all Palestinians arbitrarily detained by Israel are released immediately;
  4. 4- Ensure that all persons, including women and girls, are protected from gender-based violence, including sexual assault and abuse. Allegations of such crimes must be fully and independently investigated;
  5. 5- Ensure that pregnant women have access to adequate health care;
  6. 6- Open humanitarian corridors toward the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Israel, especially for those that have been most affected by this war, the sick and wounded, persons with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women and children;
  7. 7- Collaboration of all parties with the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on the investigation opened in March 2021, as well as crimes arising from the recent events, underlining that the crimes committed today are partly due to a lack of deterrence and continued impunity;
  8. 8- Implement an arms embargo on all warring parties; and
  9. 9- Address the underlying causes of the conflict by ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and fulfilling the Palestinian right of self-determination.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/12/un-experts-urge-states-unite-peace-and-push-ceasefire-gaza

Gaza is ‘running out of time’ UN experts warn, demanding a ceasefire to prevent genocide on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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GENEVA (2 November 2023) – Time is running out to prevent genocide and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, UN experts warned today, expressing deep frustration with Israel’s refusal to halt plans to decimate the besieged Gaza strip.

“We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” the experts said. “The time for action is now. Israel’s allies also bear responsibility and must act now to prevent its disastrous course of action,” they said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/11/gaza-running-out-time-un-experts-warn-demanding-ceasefire-prevent-genocide

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