Israeli-Palestinian conflict: UN accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes
The United Nations human rights office has accused Israel of war crimes after the country blocked access to aid in Gaza, leaving millions of citizens without electricity and fuel. “Collective punishment is a war crime,” spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva on Friday. The extremist Palestinian organisation Hamas is also guilty, the statement says.
“For those 2.2 million people trapped in the Gaza Strip and collectively punished, a humanitarian catastrophe is on the horizon,” Shamdasani said. According to the UN, these actions must end. Water, food and medical supplies are dangerously scarce, and displaced Palestinians live in unsanitary shelters under very poor conditions.
Hamas has also committed war crimes on several occasions besides this most recent escalation in the conflict, the UN states. On 7 October, the organisation kidnapped over two hundred Israeli civilians against their will and is holding them in Gaza as hostages.
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