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UN High Commissioner Calls for Immediate Ceasefire and Humanitarian Access in Gaza Amid Escalating Middle East Conflict

Geneva, In a statement today, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, called on influential states to intervene and halt the escalating human rights and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, along with the rising violence in the West Bank and the potential for a broader conflict in the Middle East.

According to Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Turk emphasized the urgent need to resolve the dire situation of civilians in Gaza. He reiterated the necessity for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, and the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid. The High Commissioner stressed that actions obstructing humanitarian efforts, including the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure by Israeli forces, violate international laws.

The High Commissioner’s report detailed the grim situation in Gaza, where indiscriminate bombardments have not spared any area, displacing nearly 1.7 million people. Recent intensified conflicts around Middle Gaza, particularly near An Nuseirat camp and Wadi Gaza, have forced approximately 10,000 residents to flee. Reports from last week’s Eid al-Fitr celebrations indicate Israeli attacks on mosques in An Nuseirat and Gaza City, with 534 mosques damaged or destroyed in the region since October 2023.

Violence has also escalated in the West Bank, with Palestinians facing increased attacks by Israeli settlers, often supported by Israeli Security Forces. This includes retaliatory acts following the death of a young Israeli, resulting in the deaths and injuries of Palestinians and significant property damage. Additionally, settlers have established new outposts in contentious areas, heightening tensions and the risk of forced evacuations.

The High Commissioner called on Israel to fulfill its obligations as the occupying power in the West Bank, urging it to ensure public order and safety, and to protect Palestinians from settler violence. He also demanded an immediate end to the Israeli Security Forces’ involvement in such attacks and called for accountability for those responsible for these acts through proper judicial processes.