Gaza refugee camp airstrikes could be war crimes; Joe Biden, Penny Wong urge IDF restraint; Gaza Strip death toll rises

United Nations experts called on Thursday for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, saying time was running out for Palestinian people there who find themselves at “grave risk of genocide”.

Nearly four weeks of Israeli bombardment against the Gaza Strip in retaliation for deadly attacks by Hamas gunmen in southern Israel on October 7 have killed more than 9000 people, made up of a majority of women and children, health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave say.

Palestinians look for survivors under the rubble of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on Wednesday. Credit: AP

“We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” the group of experts, made up of seven U.N. special rapporteurs, said in a statement.

“We demand a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure that aid reaches those who need it the most.”

The group called the Israeli airstrikes on a residential complex in the Jabalia refugee since Tuesday “a brazen violation of international law – and a war crime”.

The Israeli mission to the U.N. in Geneva called the comments “deplorable and deeply concerning” and blamed Hamas for civilian deaths.

The International Criminal Court defines the crime of genocide as the specific intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing its members or by other means, including imposing measures intended to prevent births or forcibly transferring children from one group to another.

On October 28, departing senior U.N. human rights official Craig Mokhiber wrote to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, saying “we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it.”

Reuters

https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/israel-hamas-conflict-live-updates-20231102-p5eh76.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Gaza refugee camp airstrikes could be war crimes; Joe Biden, Penny Wong urge IDF restraint; Gaza Strip death toll rises

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