Sunday, March 3, 2024

UN ‘very disturbed’ by Israeli calls for Palestinians to leave Gaza

Gaza has been under a comprehensive 14-year-old blockade by Israel. Recent Secretaries General of the United Nations have called this a form of collective punishment, a prohibited act under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

On Thursday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that he was “very disturbed by high-level Israeli officials’ statements on plans to transfer civilians from Gaza to third countries.”

“85 per cent of people in Gaza are already internally displaced. They have the right to return to their homes. International law prohibits forcible transfer of protected persons within or deportation from occupied territory,” Volker Türk said in a post on X.

Several Israeli Ministers have pitched ideas about the resettlement of Gazans to another country and repopulating the region with new settlements.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir have recently called for Gazans to be resettled outside of the Strip, drawing widespread international condemnation.

Meanwhile, the UN and other humanitarian partners have been unable to deliver urgently needed life-saving humanitarian assistance north of Wadi Gaza for four days due to access delays and denials, as well as active conflict.

This includes medicines that would have provided vital support to more than 100,000 people for 30 days, as well as eight trucks of food for people who currently face life-threatening food insecurity.

Humanitarian organizations are calling for urgent, safe, sustained and unhindered humanitarian access to areas north of Wadi Gaza, which has been severed from the south for more than a month.

Between the afternoons of 3 and 4 January, 125 Palestinians were reported killed, and another 318 people were reported injured, by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza.

Overall, between 7 October and noon on 3 January, at least 22,438 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, according to the MoH. About 70 per cent of those killed are said to be women and children. During the same period, 57,614 Palestinians were reportedly injured.

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