Sun 16 Jun 2024 6:00 pm - Jerusalem Time

United Nations experts condemn the disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians in the Nuseirat operation

UN human rights experts have strongly condemned the massacre committed by Israeli forces in Gaza during a hostage rescue operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp, which resulted in the killing of at least 274 Palestinians, including 64 children and 57 women, and the injury of nearly 700 others.

On June 8, Israeli occupation forces, with the help of foreign soldiers, entered Nuseirat disguised as displaced persons and relief workers in a humanitarian truck. These forces violently raided the region and attacked the residents with intense ground and air attacks that spread terror, death and despair.

According to survivors, the streets of Nuseirat were filled with the bodies of the dead and wounded, including children and women, lying in pools of blood. Experts said that the walls were covered with human remains scattered due to multiple explosions and bombed houses.

They said that with the health sector in Gaza destroyed, the wounded who were taken to hospitals were forced to wait for medical treatment on the floors.

According to the United Nations, the experts said: “While we are relieved by the safe return of the four Israeli hostages held by Palestinian armed groups eight months ago, the Israeli attack on the Nuseirat camp is abhorrent in its excessive violence and devastating impact.”

They particularly condemned the Israeli forces for their treacherous disappearance of a humanitarian aid truck coming from the US-built dock, which was intended to facilitate humanitarian aid. The experts said: “Wearing civilian clothes to conduct a military operation constitutes treachery, which is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime.”

They added, "These methods expose relief workers and the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to greater danger and reveal an unprecedented level of brutality in Israeli military actions."

The World Food Program has already announced it will stop operations from the pier due to "security concerns."

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

Experts noted that Israel had the opportunity to free the hostages without further bloodshed eight months ago, when the first ceasefire agreement was presented. Instead, Israel has systematically rejected ceasefire proposals, preferring to continue its assault on Gaza, which has even led to the deaths of Israeli hostages. And all the while, Israel claimed it was engaging in military operations to rescue them. “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 the devastating Israeli offensive against the Palestinian people since October 7, which has led to the killing of more than 36,000 Palestinians, the injury of more than 80,000, and the displacement and starvation of two million people in Gaza, while the violence against... The Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem also continue unabated.

The experts pointed out that UN Security Council Resolution No. 2735 is a way out of this horror, and reiterated their call for an arms embargo against Israel to end violence against Palestinians by Israeli forces and settlers.

They said: “Although it is already late, we hope that this resolution will pave the way for lasting peace for the Palestinian people and freedom for hostages held by Palestinian armed groups and for thousands of Palestinian hostages arbitrarily held by Israel.”


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United Nations experts condemn the disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians in the Nuseirat operation