UN Human Right Office deplores civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects in the latest attacks in Gaza


The UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory has verified that among the 46 Palestinians killed in the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip, at least 20 were civilians, including 15 children and four women. The status of another 22 fatalities remains to be determined. Of the 360 Palestinians reported injured, nearly two-thirds are civilians, including 151 children, 58 women and 19 older persons. In a number of incidents, children were the majority of casualties.

These casualty numbers and significant damage to civilian objects and facilities reported by humanitarian partners raise grave concern with regard to respect for the international humanitarian law principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions. A number of Israeli strikes hit prima facie civilian objects, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects. International humanitarian law prohibits attacks which may incidentally kill or injure civilians, or damage civilian objects, in disproportionate manner to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. Palestinian armed groups indiscriminately launched hundreds of rockets and mortars, in violation of the international humanitarian law prohibition on indiscriminate attacks, causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects in Israel and in the Gaza Strip. According to Israeli authorities, 70 Israelis were injured.

The UN Human Rights Office calls for prompt, independent, impartial, thorough and transparent investigations to be conducted into all incidents where civilians were killed or injured. An almost total lack of accountability persists for violations of international humanitarian law by all parties in previous escalations, and for recurring and ongoing Israeli violations of the law of occupation across the occupied Palestinian territory. This is one of the drivers of repeated escalations in hostilities and encourages the recurrence of violations.

Despite easing of the Israeli restrictions on the entry of critical goods, fuel, humanitarian personnel and exit of patients, the new emergency needs resulting from this most recent escalation come on top of the extremely high humanitarian needs of Gaza’s population resulting from the 15 years of blockade and closures, as well as the devastating escalation just over one year ago. The United Nations Human Rights Office calls on Israel to address ongoing drivers of violations, including the blockade which the UN Human Rights Committee has affirmed constitutes collective punishment of the entire civilian population of Gaza. 


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