UN experts declare famine has spread throughout Gaza strip by Michael Fakhri and others

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  1. GENEVA (9 July 2024) – The recent deaths of more Palestinian children due to hunger and malnutrition leaves no doubt that famine has spread across the entire Gaza strip, a group of independent experts* said today.

… “We declare that Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza. We call upon the international community to prioritise the delivery of humanitarian aid by land by any means necessary, end Israel’s siege, and establish a ceasefire.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/07/un-experts-declare-famine-has-spread-throughout-gaza-strip

States and companies must end arms transfers to Israel immediately or risk responsibility for human rights violations UN experts by UN Working Group on business and human rights and others

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  1. In line with recent calls from the Human Rights Council and the independent UN experts to States to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, arms manufacturers supplying Israel – including BAE Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh, Rheinmetall AG, Rolls-Royce Power Systems, RTX, and ThyssenKrupp – should also end transfers, even if they are executed under existing export licenses.
  2. “These companies, by sending weapons, parts, components, and ammunition to Israeli forces, risk being complicit in serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian laws,” the experts said. This risk is heightened by the recent decision from the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, having recognised genocide as a plausible risk, as well as the request filed by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. “In this context, continuing arms transfers to Israel may be seen as knowingly providing assistance for operations that contravene international human rights and international humanitarian laws and may result in profit from such assistance.”
  3. Financial institutions investing in these arms companies are also called to account. Investors such as Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Amundi Asset Management, Bank of America, BlackRock, Capital Group, Causeway Capital Management, Citigroup, Fidelity Management & Research, INVESCO Ltd, JP Morgan Chase, Harris Associates, Morgan Stanley, Norges Bank Investment Management, Newport Group, Raven’swing Asset Management, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, State Street Corporation, Union Investment Privatfonds, The Vanguard Group, Wellington and Wells Fargo & Company, are urged to take action. Failure to prevent or mitigate their business relationships with these arms manufacturers transferring arms to Israel could move from being directly linked to human rights abuses to contributing to them, with repercussions for complicity in potential atrocity crimes, the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/06/states-and-companies-must-end-arms-transfers-israel-immediately-or-risk

UN experts condemn outrageous disregard for Palestinian civilians during Israel’s military operation in Nuseirat by UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese and others

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  1. GENEVA (14 June 2024) – UN human rights experts* today strongly condemned the umpteenth massacre by Israeli forces in Gaza during a hostage rescue operation in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, which killed at least 274 Palestinians, including 64 children and 57 women, and injured nearly 700.
  2. … “According to survivors, the streets of Nuseirat were filled with bodies of dead and injured people, including children and women, lying in pools of blood. Walls were covered in body parts scattered by multiple explosions and bombed houses,” the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/06/un-experts-condemn-outrageous-disregard-palestinian-civilians-during-israels

UN experts outraged by Israeli strikes on civilians sheltering in Rafah camps by Paula Gaviria Betancur and others

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  1. GENEVA (29 May 2024) – Israeli air strikes on a camp sheltering displaced civilians in Tal al-Sultan in Rafah, that have reportedly claimed at least 46 lives including 23 women, children and older persons on Sunday night are an outrage, UN experts* said today, demanding decisive international action to end the bloodshed in Gaza.

… They recalled that the attack comes soon after a landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered Israel to immediately halt the military offensive, and any other action in Rafah that may result in genocidal acts. Israel had flagrantly disregarded this directive in Sunday night’s attack, the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/05/un-experts-outraged-israeli-strikes-civilians-sheltering-rafah-camps

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

Israel/Gaza: UN experts condemn destruction of judicial infrastructure, call for protection of justice operators headed by Margaret Satterthwaite and Irene Kahn

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GENEVA (16 April 2024) – UN experts* today called for the protection of justice operators in Israel and condemned the destruction of judicial infrastructure in Gaza.

The experts deplored reports that on 9 October 2023 the Israeli army bombed the building which housed the local headquarters of the Palestine Bar Association, resulting in the destruction of its official archives.

On 4 December 2023, the Israeli army released a video showing the complete blasting of the building of Gaza’s empty courthouse, seized in November 2023.

“The right to a fair trial and access to justice require adequate infrastructure and efficient protection for all actors in the administration of justice, as well as for case files and documentation. We are alarmed by this unnecessary destruction of the judicial infrastructure in Gaza,” the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/04/israelgaza-un-experts-condemn-destruction-judicial-infrastructure-call

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

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