Israel committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip by applying “collective punishment” to the Palestinian population after the massacre carried out by Hamas on October 7. The accusation comes from the United Nations office that deals with humanitarian issues. ”Collective punishment is a war crime. Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at a press conference in Geneva that the collective punishment imposed by Israel on all residents of Gaza must stop immediately.
The UN agency explains that Hamas also committed war crimes and atrocities on October 7, and continues to commit them by holding civilians hostage. Shamdasani then asked Palestinian groups to stop “indiscriminate attacks” against Israel. Regarding the complete “blockade” announced by Israel of Gaza, Shamdasani said that “for the 2.2 million people living in Gaza, this represents a humanitarian catastrophe and collective punishment.”
Severe tension between Israel and the United Nations
In recent days, the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterressa, whose resignation was requested by Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan, have sparked debate. Opening discussions at a UN Security Council meeting devoted to the crisis in the Middle East, Guterres said that the horrific attack by Hamas on October 7 occurred after “the Palestinians had been subjected to 56 years of stifling occupation.” Guterres then stressed that the Palestinians’ claims “cannot justify the horrific attacks launched by Hamas, just as these horrific attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”
Guterres’s speech and clarification
Guterres responded a few days later to the harsh Israeli attacks, saying: “I was shocked by the distortion of some of my statements, as if I were justifying Hamas’s terrorist acts. This is not true. Rather, it was the opposite.” The UN Secretary-General added: “I believe it is necessary to re-establish the facts, especially with regard to respect for the victims and their families.” Guterres said that in his speech before the United Nations, he unequivocally condemned “the horrific and unprecedented terrorist acts carried out by Hamas in Israel.” He said, “Nothing can justify the intentional killing, wounding, and kidnapping of civilians, or the launching of missiles at civilian targets.”
He added: “But I spoke about the mistakes committed against the Palestinian people, and I said: But the mistakes of the Palestinian people cannot justify the horrific attacks committed by Hamas.”
Then the UN Secretary-General published a new message on humanitarian fire.
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