Cairo, 9 November 2023 (TDI): UN Human Rights Chief, Volker Türk, visited the Rafah border crossing in Eygpt to evaluate the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding as a consequence of the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Türk’s presence underscored the urgent need for international attention and intervention to address the escalating situation and provide essential aid to the affected population.

The Rafah border with Egypt, vital for Gaza’s two million residents, has experienced numerous shifts, openings, and closures over the years. Illicit tunnels have been constructed beneath it to facilitate the movement of people and goods.

Amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Rafah border now plays a crucial role in evacuations and the delivery of humanitarian aid. Volker Turk described the situation at the Rafah border as “a living nightmare in Gaza”.

During a media briefing after he visited Rafah, Egypt, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk emphasized the escalating humanitarian crisis at the border.

He pointed out that people are struggling to meet their basic needs for water, food, and shelter, all while being subjected to continuous bombardment by Israeli forces, leaving them suffocated.

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Türk condemned the atrocities committed by Israeli forces, stating that these actions amount to war crimes. He highlighted the staggering toll of 10,500 civilian casualties, including 4,300 innocent children and 2,800 women.

Hospitals, schools, and refugee camps are also being targeted, leaving the affected population with nowhere to seek refuge in what can only be described as a living nightmare.

Volker Türk underlined the issue of double standards prevalent in the conflict. He stressed that the world cannot tolerate such disparities and must adhere to universal standards defined by international human rights laws and international humanitarian laws.

According to these standards, parties involved in the conflict are obligated to consistently protect the civilian population and civilian objects, even amid ongoing attacks.

Türk clarified that the actions of one party do not exempt the other party from its obligations under international humanitarian law. He made it clear that attacks on medical facilities, medical personnel, and the wounded and sick are strictly prohibited.