Gaza update and Israeli settlement report: OHCHR
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159.5 MB

Edited News | OHCHR

Gaza update and Israeli settlement report: OHCHR

“UN rights office warns any ground assault on Rafah would ‘heighten risk of further atrocity crimes’.

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said on Friday that it fears that the already catastrophic situation in the Palestinian enclave “may slide deeper into the abyss” should Israel launch its threatened military offensive in Gaza’s border town of Rafah.    

“Any ground assault on Rafah would incur massive loss of life and would heighten the risk of further atrocity crimes,” said Jeremy Laurence, OHCHR’s spokesperson when briefing reporters at the United Nations in Geneva. “This must not be allowed to happen.”

In Rafah, 1,5 million people have been displaced in deplorable, subhuman conditions, said Mr. Laurence. “We fear that this already catastrophic situation may slide deeper into the abyss, as many Palestinians mark the holy month of Ramadan, a period that is meant to honor peace and tolerance.”

OHCHR is also concerned about further Israeli restrictions to grant Palestinians access to East Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan which commences on Sunday and which could further inflame tensions.

As the Gaza conflict enters on Friday its sixth month, Mr. Laurence stressed that “since the 7th of October, parties to this conflict have paid little heed to international law that protects human rights and governs the conduct of hostilities. This has been a stain on the collective conscience of humanity.”

The Human Rights Office repeated that there must be an immediate end to this conflict, the killing and destruction must stop. It also reminded that the hostages, who have now endured over 150 days of suffering and torment, must be released unconditionally, and returned to their families.

On Friday, the UN Human Rights Office published a report on the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that detailed the drastic acceleration in settlement buildings as an exacerbating long-standing pattern of oppression, violence and discrimination against Palestinians.

“The report also highlights the dramatic increase in the intensity, severity and regularity of Israeli settler and state violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, particularly since 7th October 2023,” said Ajith Sunghay, head of OHCHR’s Office for the occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). “This violence is accelerating Palestinians displacement from their land”.

The report finds that the current Israeli Government's policies “appear aligned, to an unprecedented extent, with the goals of the Israeli settler movement to expand long-term control over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to steadily integrate this occupied territory into the State of Israel.”

The report which covers the period from 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023 concluded that the size of existing Israeli settlements has expanded markedly. About 24,300 housing units within existing Israeli settlements in the West Bank were advanced during this period, the highest on record since monitoring began in 2017. This included approximately 9,670 units in East Jerusalem.

“We remind Israel that the transfer of population of an occupying power into occupied territory, or the forcible transfer of the population within or from occupied territory, or the annexation of territory by use of force are all strictly prohibited. Officials and others involved in such conduct risk individual criminal liability,” noted Ajith Sunghay.  

According to reports, Israel plans to build a further 3,476 settler homes in the illegal settlements of Maale Adumim, Efrat and Kedar in further violation of international law.

-ends-

 

STORY: Gaza update and Israeli settlement report – OHCHR 

TRT: 2:10”

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 8 March 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST

  1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley at the United Nations Office in Geneva
  2. Wide shot: Spokespersons at the podium and journalists in Press briefing room
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR): “We fear that this already catastrophic situation may slide deeper into the abyss, as many Palestinians mark the holy month of Ramadan, a period that is meant to honor peace and tolerance.”
  4. Medium shot: Journalists in press room with speaker at podium
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR): “Any ground assault on Rafah would incur massive loss of life and would heighten the risk of further atrocity crimes. This must not be allowed to happen.”
  6. Medium shot: UN staff working in press room booths
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR): “Since the 7th of October, parties to this conflict have paid little heed to international law that protects human rights and governs the conduct of hostilities. This has been a stain on the collective conscience of humanity.”
  1. Wide shot: Journalists in press room with speaker on screen and spokesperson at the podium
  2. SOUNDBITE (English) – Ajith Sunghay, Head of OHCHR’s Office for the OPT (from East Jerusalem): “The report also highlights the dramatic increase in the intensity, severity and regularity of Israeli settler and state violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, particularly since 7th October 2023. This violence is accelerating Palestinians displacement from their land.”
  3. Medium shot: Spokespersons at the podium with speaker on screen
  4. SOUNDBITE (English) – Ajith Sunghay, Head of OHCHR’s Office for the OPT (from East Jerusalem): “We remind Israel that the transfer of population of an occupying power into occupied territory, or the forcible transfer of the population within or from occupied territory, or the annexation of territory by use of force are all strictly prohibited. Officials and others involved in such conduct risk individual criminal liability.”
  5. Close up: Camerawoman filming
  6. Close up: Journalist listening
  7. Wide shot: Journalists in press room


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