United Nations experts have criticized Israel for its actions in Gaza, stating that they amount to ‘collective punishment.’ The experts’ statement comes in the midst of heavy Israeli bombardments in the Palestinian enclave.
The situation in Gaza has escalated, with Israel imposing a “total siege” to prevent food and fuel from reaching the enclave’s 2.3 million residents. This action follows a surprise offensive by Hamas, which resulted in the death of 1,200 Israelis.
Key developments in this ongoing crisis include
- Pakistan’s Condemnation: Pakistan has strongly condemned Israel’s “indiscriminate and disproportionate” use of force against Palestinians and called for an immediate ceasefire.
- Gazans at Risk: The people of Gaza are at risk of starvation as vital supplies like electricity, food, and water have been cut off.
- ICRC Urges Compassion: The International Committee of the Red Cross has urged both sides to reduce civilian suffering in this conflict.
- Israeli Minister’s Stance: An Israeli minister has stated that there will be no let up in the siege unless hostages are freed.
- Retaliatory Strikes: Israeli forces have retaliated with air and artillery strikes, resulting in the destruction of neighborhoods, hospitals, and schools in Gaza, with a significant loss of life and displacement.
The group of UN experts emphasizes that the situation in Gaza, where the population has endured a 16-year blockade and five major brutal wars, amounts to collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law and constitutes a war crime.
Additionally, the experts have called for the immediate release of civilians taken as hostages by Hamas.
The crisis in Gaza has reached a critical point, with hospitals running out of fuel to power generators, leaving vulnerable patients at risk. The UN, along with other nations, is actively working to address this dire humanitarian situation.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Israel to show support and help secure the release of hostages, as well as facilitate discussions with Israel and Egypt regarding safe passage for Gaza civilians. Blinken’s visit also serves to deter Iran from getting involved in the conflict.
As the conflict continues, the number of displaced people in Gaza continues to rise, with significant damage to infrastructure and civilian facilities.
China has reported the death of three Chinese nationals in the conflict, calling for their safety and rescue. Saudi Arabia and Iran have engaged in discussions about the situation, calling for an end to war crimes against Palestinians.
Brazil, as the current president of the UN Security Council, has called for a meeting to address the ongoing conflict. NATO countries have expressed solidarity with Israel, emphasizing the right to defend itself with proportionality while condemning acts of terror. They have also called for the immediate release of hostages and protection of civilians.
The situation remains highly fluid, with Hamas responding to Israeli strikes with rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, further escalating the crisis.