Geneva, 5 December 2023 (TDI): The recent escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip has once again plunged the region into a devastating cycle of violence, causing severe distress to civilians and underscoring the critical need for an immediate ceasefire.
Israeli bombardments since Friday have claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, as reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health. On Friday, all access for aid into Gaza via Rafah was completely halted, with severe restrictions on Saturday.
Consequently, the already limited aid operations within Gaza experienced a significant slowdown, exacerbating the strain on essential services and leading to further breakdowns.
Volker Türk has conveyed deep concerns, expressing apprehension that the resumption and escalation of hostilities, following a seven-day pause, could result in a higher toll of death, disease, and destruction compared to the current situation.
Highlighting the consequences of Israel’s engagement in hostilities and evacuation directives for residents in the north and parts of the south, Türk noted that hundreds of thousands are now confined to increasingly smaller areas in southern regions.
This confinement is occurring without proper sanitation, adequate access to food, water, and health supplies, all while facing the constant threat of bombs raining down around them.
In emphasizing the urgency of the situation, Türk reiterated, “I repeat, there is no safe place in Gaza.”
Volker Turk underscored the renewed vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of individuals who remain in northern regions, facing the looming threat of bombardment while being deprived of essential necessities.
In light of this dire circumstance and the directives to relocate southward, it is evident that people are essentially compelled to move, raising concerns about a potential attempt to evacuate northern Gaza of its Palestinian population.
Severe allegations of numerous and significant violations of international law demand thorough investigation, with those found responsible held accountable, he declared.
In cases where national authorities demonstrate reluctance or incapacity to conduct such inquiries and prosecutions, an international investigation becomes imperative