The UN human rights chief regrets the “climate of impunity” and calls for investigations
MADRID, August 11 (EUROPA PRESS) –
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michellet Bachelet has expressed dismay at the high number of children who have lost their lives in violent incidents in the Palestinian Territories this year: at least 37, 17 of them in recent clashes of attacks between Israeli forces and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip.
“Harming a child in the course of a conflict is very concerning,” lamented Bachelet, who has questioned the scope of civilian targets during Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the excessive use of force he allegedly uses in his operations there West Bank – two Palestinian minors died on Tuesday -.
In this sense, he recalled that “international humanitarian law is unequivocal”, so that it is “prohibited” to launch any attack even suspected of causing harm to the civilian population, in an appeal that also applies to the Palestinians extends militias in loop.
Bachelet’s office has confirmed the deaths of 48 Palestinians in the recent escalation in Gaza, with a list that includes 22 civilians, including 17 children. Among the 360 injured, according to this census, are at least 151 minors, representing 70 Israelis who suffered some kind of harm.
Tensions are also “very high” in the West Bank, an area where Bachelet has denounced Israel’s repeated use of excessive force, leading to an “alarming” rise in the number of victims. The former Chilean president has called for a transparent and impartial investigation into all incidents, as at least 74 Palestinians have lost their lives so far this year, including 20 children and teenagers.
The High Commissioner has said broadly that there is an “almost total” lack of accountability for the alleged abuses committed by the various parties, which encourages “a climate of impunity” which in turn “leads to a spiral of violence and the repetition of abuse”.