UN Experts Slam Israel's Outrageous Disregard for Palestinian Civilians


UN human rights experts* today strongly condemned the umpteenth massacre by Israeli forces in Gaza during a hostage rescue operation in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, which killed at least 274 Palestinians, including 64 children and 57 women, and injured nearly 700.

On 8 June, Israeli Occupation Forces - allegedly assisted by foreign soldiers - entered Nuseirat disguised as displaced persons and aid workers in a humanitarian truck. They violently raided the area, assaulting residents with intense ground and air attacks that spread terror, death and despair.

"According to survivors, the streets of Nuseirat were filled with bodies of dead and injured people, including children and women, lying in pools of blood. Walls were covered in body parts scattered by multiple explosions and bombed houses," the experts said.

With Gaza's health sector decimated, the injured taken to hospitals had to wait for medical treatment on the floors, they said.

"While we are relieved by the safe return of four Israeli hostages captured by Palestinian armed groups eight months ago, Israel's attack on the Nuseirat camp is obnoxious in its excessive violence and devastating impact," the experts said.

They particularly condemned Israeli forces for treacherously hiding in a humanitarian aid truck coming from the US-built pier, which was intended to facilitate humanitarian assistance. "Acquiring civilian disguise to conduct a military operation constitutes perfidy, which is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and tantamount to a war crime," the experts said.

"These tactics put aid workers and the delivery of much needed humanitarian aid at even greater risk and expose an unprecedented level of savagery in Israeli military actions," they said.

The World Food Program has already announced the pause of its operations from the pier due to "security concerns."

"The dramatically high death toll among Palestinians affected by the rescue operation confirms Israel's blatant disregard for Palestinian life," the experts said. "Under international law, all civilian life must be equally valued and protected and no life is worth more than another."

The experts noted that Israel had an opportunity to free the hostages without further bloodshed eight months ago, when the first ceasefire deal was presented. Instead, Israel has systematically rejected ceasefire proposals, preferring to continue its assault on Gaza, which has even taken the lives of Israeli hostages. All the while, Israel has claimed to be engaging in military operations to save them," they said. "Using the pretext of seeking to rescue hostages to justify excessive use of force exposes Israel's criminal actions, including through humanitarian camouflage, and tells us they have reached a whole new level," the experts said.

"The military operation in Nuseirat stands out as one of the most heinous acts in Israel's destructive assault against the Palestinian people since 7 October, which has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, injured over 80,000 and displaced and starved 2 million people in Gaza, while violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem also continues unabated," they said.

The experts noted that the UN Security Council Resolution 2735 is a way out of the horror, reiterating their call for an arms embargo against Israel to end the violence against Palestinians by Israeli forces and settlers.

"While the hour is already late, we hope this Resolution will pave the way for durable peace for the Palestinian people and freedom for hostages being held by Palestinian armed groups and for the thousands of Palestinian hostages arbitrarily detained by Israel," they said.

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