World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


‘Appalled’ by attack on UN-run school in Gaza

‘Appalled’ by attack on UN-run school in Gaza, Ban urges halt to all fighting

24 July 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he is “appalled” by the news of an attack on a United Nations-run school in Gaza where hundreds of people had taken refuge from the ongoing hostilities, adding that the incident underscores the need to stop all fighting immediately.

“Many have been killed – including women and children, as well as UN staff,” Mr. Ban said in statement issued in Erbil, Iraq, where he is currently on an official visit. “Circumstances are still unclear. I strongly condemn this act.”

Media reports say at least 15 people died in the attack on the school in Beit Hanoun, which was run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). More than 100,000 Gazans – 5 per cent of the total population – have sought refuge in UNRWA facilities since the conflict began over two weeks ago.

We express shock at the high number of civilians killed and injured in the ongoing Israeli operations in Gaza and at the rocket attacks launched by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Israeli civilian areas.

Mr. Ban expressed his profound condolences to the families of the victims and those of the many hundreds of innocent Gazans who have tragically been killed as a result of what he described as “the massive Israeli assault.”

The UN chief, who has been in the region this week to express solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians and to help them end the current cycle of violence, again stressed to all sides that they must abide by their international obligations to respect the sanctity of civilian life and the inviolability of UN premises, and to honour their obligations to humanitarian workers.

“Today’s attack underscores the imperative for the killing to stop – and to stop now,” Mr. Ban declared.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), civilians in Gaza have no safe place to go with 44 per cent of the land declared a ‘no-go zone’ by the Israeli army. The UNRWA facilities are not immune to destruction. At least 18 medical facilities, include five UNRWA health clinics have been hit by airstrikes and shelling.

Also today, the Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh, expressed their serious concern at the escalation of violence in Gaza and at the targeting of civilians in the current crisis.

“We express shock at the high number of civilians killed and injured in the ongoing Israeli operations in Gaza and at the rocket attacks launched by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Israeli civilian areas,” they said in a news release.

Mr. Dieng and Ms. Welsh stated that the high number of civilian casualties, particularly among the Palestinians, could demonstrate disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces. At the same time, the launching of rocket attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups into Israeli residential areas constitutes indiscriminate use of force.

In this context, “both parties are in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and these acts could constitute atrocity crimes,” they stated.

“We are equally disturbed by the flagrant use of hate speech in the social media, particularly against the Palestinian population,” they added. According to reliable reports, individuals have disseminated messages that could be dehumanising to the Palestinians and have called for the killing of members of this group.

They added that the actions of all parties need to be thoroughly and impartially investigated, and those found responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, on either side, must be held accountable for their actions.

Yesterday, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in which it decided to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

Meeting in Geneva in an emergency session, the Council also strongly condemned the “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” arising from the Israeli military operations since 13 June, and called for an immediate ceasefire.

In a related development, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today deplored the killing of Khaled Reyadh Hamad, a cameraman who was killed in the Shijaiyah neighbourhood of Gaza City on 20 July.

“It is essential that all recognize the civilian status of journalists, who must be able to carry out their work keeping us informed of events on the ground,” Director-General Irina Bokova said in a news release. “As stipulated by international agreements, journalists must be protected including when reporting from the scene.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news