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UN human rights chief: situation in West Bank 'drastically deteriorating'

UN human rights chief: situation in West Bank 'drastically deteriorating'

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Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties of the conflict in Gaza.

Reuters

Publisted at 4:39 PM, Tue Jun 18th, 2024

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The United Nations human rights chief on Tuesday warned that the rights situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was rapidly deteriorating, while there had been "unconscionable death and suffering" in Gaza.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

He said that as of June 15, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers since October, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings."

He said that 23 Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians.

Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties of the conflict in Gaza.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.

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