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Guterres: ‘Nothing justifies collective punishment of Palestinians’

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated the prohibitions outlined in international human rights and humanitarian law, which include attacks on civilians or protected infrastructure, forced displacement, and the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, among others. His speech at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council comes amid the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza, where over 29,000 people have been killed.

February 27, 2024 at 8:48 am

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday that nothing justifies the collective punishment of the Palestinian people, warning that the comprehensive Israeli attack on the city of Rafah will put the final nail in the coffin of aid programs.

Speaking during the launching of the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Guterres added that international humanitarian law is under threat in light of the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza, pointing out that the role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is essential in distributing aid within the Strip.

In his address, the UN chief has called for an immediate ceasefire.

Since October 7, Israel has been launching a devastating war against the besieged Gaza Strip which led to killing of 29,782 people and the injury of 70,43 others, in addition to the displacement of more than 85 per cent (about 1.9 million people) of the Strip’s population, according to Palestinian and UN figures.

READ: Full-scale Israel military operation in Rafah would be ‘nail in coffin’ of Gaza aid, warns UN chief