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Press releases Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comment by UN Human Right Office spokesperson Jeremy Laurence on Gaza escalation

11 May 2023

Smoke rises following an Israeli strike, in Gaza May 10, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The UN Human Rights Office is alarmed by the escalation of hostilities in Gaza this week. Strikes on Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have killed at least 12 civilians, including women and children. Palestinian armed groups have fired rockets into Israel.

Since 9 May, a total of 25 Palestinians, including six children and four women, have been killed and dozens injured in Gaza, according to data verified by the UN. At least three senior members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad were among those killed.

Buildings that the IDF struck reportedly included residential apartments, raising serious concerns whether these attacks complied with the principles of distinction and proportionality. We are concerned about whether the IDF took sufficient precautions to avoid, and in any event to minimize, loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.

The launching of indiscriminate rockets from Gaza into Israel, which puts at risk both Israeli and Palestinian civilians, violates international humanitarian law. 

We urge all parties to take measures to de-escalate, and conduct prompt and transparent investigation into all killings, especially of civilians.


For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence +  +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected]

In Nairobi
Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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