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Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on resumption of hostilities in Gaza

01 December 2023

Palestinians inspect the destruction around residential buildings following Israeli air strikes in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023, as fighting resumed shortly after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants.© Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP



The resumption of hostilities in Gaza is catastrophic. I urge all parties and States with influence over them to redouble efforts, immediately, to ensure a ceasefire – on humanitarian and human rights grounds.

Recent comments by Israeli political and military leaders indicating that they are planning to expand and intensify the military offensive are very troubling.

Since 7 October, thousands of Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. More now face the same fate. Others risk being forcibly displaced to already severely over-crowded and unsanitary parts of Gaza.

The situation is beyond crisis point.

Under international humanitarian law, Israel as the occupying power, is required to ensure that the basic needs of the population in Gaza, such as food, water, and medical care, are met. I remind all parties of their obligation to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, throughout Gaza.

The way forward must be through an immediate end to the violence, the prompt and unconditional release of all remaining hostages, the cessation of firing of indiscriminate rockets and use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas, humanitarian aid commensurate to the immense need and rapid unimpeded access, an end to practices of arbitrary detention by Israel, and concrete steps to avert further disaster, founded on full respect and protection of the human rights of Palestinians and Israelis.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or

Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or

Jeremy Laurence +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or

Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]
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