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Forced displacement of Palestinians would constitute 'serious breach of international law': Norwegian NGO

December 26, 2023 at 2:33 pm

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and co-organizor of the Norwegian channel between Israel and the PLO in 1992 which led to the Oslo Accord, is seen during an interview with AFP in Oslo, Norway on November 24, 2023 [VIKEN KANTARCI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Norwegian Refugee Council warned on Tuesday that forced displacement of Palestinians would constitute a “serious breach of international law”, Anadolu Agency reports.

“This concern follows Israel’s forcible transfer of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians within Gaza. Palestinians fear further displacement could lead to a refugee crisis like the catastrophic events of 1948, known in Arabic as the ‘Nakba’,” the nongovernmental organization said in a statement.

It also warned against the growing risk of mass deportation of Palestinians to Egypt, as the council’s head Jan Egeland said that it also “amounts to an atrocity crime.”

The NGO, which helps people forced to flee, called on the international community to unite against those crimes and recalled that 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza have been internally displaced.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas on 7 October, killing at least 20,700 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring more than 54,500 others, according to local health authorities.

On 10 November, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman revised the official death toll of the 7 October Hamas attacks, lowering the figure to around 1,200 people, and since then, Tel Aviv has not provided any additional information about the casualties.

Israeli attacks have left Gaza in ruins, with half of the coastal territory’s housing damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely populated enclave amid acute shortages of food and clean water.

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