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UN Rights Chief Alarmed by Full-Scale Israeli Offensive in Gaza's Rafah

13 May 2024 21:03

Islam Times - The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, voiced grave concerns over the "catastrophic" impact of a full-scale Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Turk expressed his apprehensions in a statement released on Sunday, cautioning against a full-scale invasion of Rafah due to its potential harm to civilians.

"I have repeatedly expressed my alarm about the catastrophic impact of a possible full-scale offensive on Rafah, including the possibility of further atrocity crimes," Turk stated.

He said he could not see how the latest evacuation orders or a “full assault” in an area with an extremely dense civilian presence, can be reconciled with the binding requirements of international humanitarian law and with the two sets of binding provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Turk highlighted the desperate situation exacerbated by impediments to humanitarian aid entry through Gaza's crossings, including a severe fuel shortage hindering essential operations.

The commissioner's remarks coincide with the plight of displaced Palestinians in Rafah, grappling with the ongoing Israeli offensive. Since May 6, when evacuation orders were issued, over 278,000 people in eastern Rafah have been displaced, with close to a million more affected by the recent directives. Turk lamented the lack of safe havens in Gaza, particularly for vulnerable groups like the disabled, elderly, and pregnant women “and many others who are physically unable to move without help.”

Amid the dire circumstances, doctors and medics in Rafah have described the situation of hospitalized patients as catastrophic, urging immediate international assistance. Despite international warnings, the Israeli regime persists in its aggressive actions, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian crisis. Fresh attacks in various parts of Gaza, including the north and central regions, have resulted in numerous civilian casualties.

The ongoing genocidal war, which began seven months ago, has claimed the lives of over 35,000 Palestinians, with a significant portion being women and children. Thousands of bodies also remain under the rubble.

Story Code: 1134863

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