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Civilian deaths in Gaza stain on Israel, allies: Norwegian Refugee Council

December 5, 2023 at 3:45 pm

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council gestures during a press conference, in which he spoke about the suffering caused by the war in Yemen more than two years after a Saudi-led intervention, on May 3, 2017 ahead of his departure at Sanaa international airport [Mohammed Huwais/AFP via Getty Images]

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a major global rights group operating in Palestine, said Tuesday that civilian deaths in Gaza are a stain on Israel and its allies, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The pulverising of Gaza now ranks amongst the worst assaults on any civilian population in our time and age. Each day we see more dead children and new depths of suffering for the innocent people enduring this hell,” NRC’s Secretary-General, Jan Egeland, said in a statement.

Countries supporting Israel with arms must understand that these civilian deaths will be a permanent stain on their reputation. They must demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Only a cessation of hostilities will allow us to ensure effective relief to the two million who now require it

he added.

Also drawing attention to Israeli restrictions on aid access to Gaza, Egeland noted that the state of affairs led to the further worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

The killing of thousands of innocent children and women, the siege on an entire civilian population, and the trapping of bombarded civilians behind closed borders in Gaza are also crimes under international law. There must also be accountability for this, from political and military leaders, as well as those who provided arms and support. This military campaign can in no way be described as ‘self-defence’

he said.

Israel resumed air and ground attacks Friday on the Gaza Strip after the end of a week long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group, Hamas.

At least 15,899 Palestinians have been killed and more than 42,000 injured since Israel launched a massive military campaign on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on 7 October,  according to Gaza’s health authorities.

The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.

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