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UN Special Adviser ’appalled’ by the plight of civilians in the Middle East

Tuesday 13 February 2024
UN Special Adviser ’appalled’ by the plight of civilians in the Middle East

On Friday, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide expressed deep dismay at the ongoing situation in the Middle East, emphasizing the urgent need for a humanitarian ceasefire and the protection of civilians.

Alice Wairimu Nderitu also emphasized the necessity of increasing diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the crisis.

In a statement, she asserted, "Civilians should never bear the burden of a conflict they did not initiate. Their fundamental rights must be safeguarded and respected, and their humanitarian needs must be addressed."

Wednesday marked the fourth month of the intense conflict in Gaza.

The conflict erupted on October 7th, in retaliation to the Zionist regimes assaults previously carried out against the oppressed people of Palestine, when Hamas and other Palestinian resistance forces launched attacks on southern Israel, resulting in approximately 1,200 Israelis dead and over 250 taken hostage.

In response, Israel conducted a military operation in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the martyrdom of at least 27,840 Palestinians and over 67,300 injured, according to the local health authority. Additionally, more than 1.7 million Gazans have been displaced, and the enclave has suffered extensive damage to homes, schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure.

Increase determination to resolve the conflict

The Special Adviser also urged all relevant parties to reaffirm their commitment to resolving the conflict.

This entails primarily ensuring the safeguarding of civilians and civilian infrastructure in compliance with international law," she stated.

Judgment by the International Court of Justice

The statement also addressed the interim measures mandated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case initiated by South Africa against the Zionist regime concerning the prevention of genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Ms. Nderitu emphasized that neither the UN Secretary-General nor herself, as his Special Adviser, "take a position" regarding ongoing judicial proceedings before the court.

In its decision of 26 January, the ICJ directed the Israeli regime, among other things, to fulfill its obligations under the Genocide Convention by "taking all measures within its power" to prevent acts falling within the scope of Article II of the treaty, which includes killing, causing serious physical or mental harm, intentionally imposing conditions of life intended to destroy the group, and implementing measures aimed at preventing births.

The court also instructed the Zionist regime to "ensure immediately that its military forces refrain from committing any of the aforementioned acts".

Cross-border Effects

The Special Adviser also reaffirmed the Secretary-General's apprehension regarding the repercussions of the Gaza war extending into the West Bank and the broader Middle East region.

Tags :

Palestine Gaza West Bank Rafah Genocide UN United Nations Zionist regime Israel Middle East Alice Wairimu Nderitu International Court of Justice ICJ South Africa

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War victims in southern Iraq want "their villages to be cleared of mines"

War victims in southern Iraq want "their villages to be cleared of mines"