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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comment by UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Seif Magango on continued bombardment of Middle Gaza

26 December 2023

MAGHAZI, GAZA - DECEMBER 25: A MAN HOLDING A CRYING CHILD AS SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS FOR THOSE TRAPPED UNDER RUBBLE CONTINUE AFTER ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE HIT CIVIL RESIDENTIAL AREA IN AL MAGHAZI REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA ON DECEMBER 25, 2023. © ASHRAF AMRA / ANADOLUNO

We are gravely concerned about the continued bombardment of Middle Gaza by Israeli forces, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives since Christmas Eve. It is particularly concerning that this latest intense bombardment comes after Israeli forces ordered residents from the south of Wadi Gaza to move to Middle Gaza and Tal al-Sultan in Rafah.

The Israeli Air Force reportedly carried out more than 50 strikes across Middle Gaza on 24-25 December, including on three refugee camps, Al Bureij, Al-Nuseirat, and Al-Maghazi. Two strikes hit seven residential buildings in Al-Maghazi camp, killing an estimated 86 Palestinians and injuring many more. An unknown number of people are still believed to be trapped under the rubble. The combined death toll from the strikes in the Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps has since risen to at least 131, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), amid a deepening and already catastrophic humanitarian situation. All roads connecting the three camps have been destroyed, obstructing relief aid from reaching those in need, and shelters and hospitals still minimally operating are critically overcrowded and under-resourced.

We restate our warning that all attacks must strictly adhere to the principles of international humanitarian law, including distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack. Israeli forces must take all measures available to protect civilians. Warnings and evacuation orders do not absolve them of the full range of their international humanitarian law obligations.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

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

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

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