‘Time is running out to prevent genocide in Gaza’: The warning from UN rapporteurs

Time is running out “to avoid genocide and a catastrophe in Gaza.” This is what seven United Nations special rapporteurs warned in a statement this Thursday, who reiterated their call for a ceasefire.

“We are convinced that the Palestinian people are at serious risk of suffering genocide,” insisted the experts, who assured that “Israel’s allies also have responsibility and must act to prevent this disastrous development of events”.

The experts, including UN rapporteur for Palestine Francesca Albanese, also expressed their “deep frustration” over Israel’s refusal to “decimate a besieged Gaza strip.”

They also considered that the bombings that since Tuesday, October 31, have affected the Jabalia refugee camp, in the north of Gaza, and have caused hundreds of deaths, “are a blatant violation of international law and a war crime.”

“Attacking a camp where civilians, including women and children, take refuge is a flagrant violation of the rules of proportionality and distinction between civilians and combatants,” the rapporteurs lamented.

(Also read: Is tension growing with Israel? Senior UN official resigns after denouncing genocide in Gaza)

Palestinians recover the lifeless body of a girl from the rubble in Gaza.

They also stressed that recent images of desperate Palestinians stealing humanitarian supplies from UN warehouses, drinking sea water or undergoing surgery without anesthesia “show that “We have reached a breaking point” when it comes to the humanitarian needs of besieged civilians.

They also called on Hamas militants and other armed groups to release the hostages held since October 7, stressing that “all parties must comply with their obligations under international law and human rights.”

(You can read: Unicef ​​says that Gaza ‘is becoming a children’s cemetery’ after bombings)

The UN rapporteurs for freedom of expression (Irene Khan), against racism (Ashwini KP), the right to food (Michael Fahri), water (Pedro Arrojo), mental health (Tlaleng Mofokeng) also sign the statement. ) and for internally displaced persons (Paula Gaviria).

This is not the first time that an alert has been issued about the possibility of genocide in Gaza.. A week ago, United Nations experts warned against the increase in hate and dehumanizing speech in Israel against Palestinians since the October 7 attacks, and warned that this language, also used by senior officials in the Government and Parliament, ” could incite genocidal actions.”


Destroyed buildings in the city of Al Zahra, southern Gaza.

In a statement, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination referred to statements such as that of the Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, who on October 9, two days after the terrorist attacks, referred to the Palestinians as “human animals.”

“We call on Israel to strongly condemn any form of hate speech and distance itself from its use by politicians and public figures, including members of the Government and Parliament, by ensuring that such statements are investigated and appropriately sanctioned,” the statement said. .

On October 18, in addition, A group of 800 international law experts also denounced the possibility that Israeli forces perpetrate the crime of genocide. against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

(Read on: Will Israel insist on denying visas to UN officials?)

“The Palestinian people constitute a national group for the purposes of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The Palestinians of the Gaza Strip make up a substantial proportion of the Palestinian nation and are being attacked by Israel because they are Palestinians. “The Palestinian population of Gaza appears to be currently subjected by Israeli forces and authorities to widespread murder, physical and mental harm, and unviable living conditions, against a backdrop of Israeli statements showing signs of intent to physically destroy the population,” it reads. in the letter.

*With EFE

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