UN Human rights briefing on Israel - OPT by Ravina Shamdasani, 20 October 2023
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Edited News | OHCHR , UNOG

UN Human Rights briefing on Israel - OPT by Ravina Shamdasani, 20 October 2023

“With over 3,700 people killed in Gaza and 1,000 more presumed under the rubble, as well as 1,300 people killed in Israel, and a further one million Palestinians – half of them children – reportedly displaced, we implore all parties to allow the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for all civilians in need, wherever they are,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, told a news briefing in Geneva today. 

At the same time, UN Human Rights remains very concerned that Israeli Forces’ heavy strikes are continuing across Gaza, including in the south. The strikes, coupled with extremely difficult living conditions in the south, appear to have pushed some to return to the north, despite the continuing heavy bombing there. 

“We are very concerned about continued indiscriminate rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel.  We reiterate that all civilians captured and held by Palestinian armed groups must be released immediately and unconditionally. The taking of hostages is prohibited by international law,” Shamdasani said. 

“We are extremely alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied West Bank and the increase in unlawful use of lethal force.

“Since 7 October, our Office has received reports that 69 Palestinians, including at least 15 children and one woman, have been killed by Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank. Yesterday, 14 people were reportedly killed, most of them in a drone strike. Settler violence has also further increased: six Palestinians have been killed by armed settlers, and a number of Palestinian communities have been forced from their land,” she added.

“There has also been an increase in arbitrary arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and of Arab Israelis in Israel, including Palestinian activists and Palestinian workers that were previously working in Israel, with reports of ill-treatment and lack of any due process. This must cease,” the spokesperson said.

For the past 13 days, many Palestinians in the West Bank have been denied freedom of movement, including being prevented from reaching hospitals to receive life-saving care. Restrictions on freedom of movement must be necessary and proportionate to achieve a legitimate aim.

“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, stresses that it is of paramount importance that all parties must respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law. In the conduct of hostilities, the principles of necessity, distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack must be respected at all times by everyone,” Shamdasani said.

So, again you have civilians caught in the middle of insanity and placed in impossible situations. Whether they move, whether they stay, they are still in the midst of unacceptable violence at all time,”she added.

 

ENDS

 

For more information and media requests, please contact: 

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or 

Jeremy Laurence +  +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org or

Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 marta.hurtadogomez@un.org

 

In Nairobi

Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / seif.magango@un.org

 

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  1. Exterior shot: Palais des Nations, Geneva.
  2. Wide shot: Briefing room
  3. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights: “With over 3,700 people killed in Gaza and 1,000 more presumed under the rubble, as well as 1,300 people killed in Israel, and a further one million Palestinians – half of them children – reportedly displaced, we implore all parties to allow the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for all civilians in need, wherever they are.”
  4. Cutaways: Briefing room
  5. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights: “We are very concerned about continued indiscriminate rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel.  We reiterate that all civilians captured and held by Palestinian armed groups must be released immediately and unconditionally. The taking of hostages is prohibited by international law.” 
  6. Cutaways: Briefing room
  7. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights: “We are extremely alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied West Bank and the increase in unlawful use of lethal force.”
  8. Cutaways: Briefing room
  9. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights: “Since 7 October, our Office has received reports that 69 Palestinians, including at least 15 children and one woman, have been killed by Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank. Yesterday, 14 people were reportedly killed in a drone strike. Settler violence has also further increased: six Palestinians have been killed by armed settlers, and a number of Palestinian communities have been forced from their land.”
  10. Cutaways: Briefing room
  11. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights: “There has also been an increase in arbitrary arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and of Arab Israelis in Israel, including Palestinian activists and Palestinian workers that were previously working in Israel, with reports of ill-treatment and lack of any due process. This must cease.”
  12. Cutaways: Briefing room
  13. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights: “The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, stresses that it is of paramount importance that all parties must respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law. In the conduct of hostilities, the principles of necessity, distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack must be respected at all times by everyone.”
  14. Cutaways: Briefing room
  15. Soundbite (English)— Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, UN Human Rights:So, again you have civilians caught in the middle of, insanity and placed in impossible situations. Whether they move, whether they stay, they are still in the midst of unacceptable violence at all time.”

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