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Killing of Gaza civilians as Israel freed hostages could be war crimes, UN says

June 11, 2024 at 12:52 pm

Injured Palestinians, including women and children, are brought to Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital after the Israeli attacks on the camps in central Gaza, in Deir al Balah, Gaza on June 08, 2024 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

The UN human rights office said today the killings of civilians in Gaza during the Israeli operation to release four hostages could amount to war crimes, Reuters reports.

Israel said the operation, accompanied by an air assault, took place on Saturday in the heart of a residential neighbourhood in central Gaza’s Nuseirat refugee camp. More than 270 Palestinians were killed during Israeli occupation forces’ efforts to release four prisoners of war, according to health officials in Gaza.

“The manner in which the raid was conducted in such a densely populated area seriously calls into question whether the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution – as set out under the laws of war – were respected by the Israeli forces,” Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN human rights office, said.

Reports from eyewitnesses outline how Israel used humanitarian aid trucks to enter the area before launching its attack.

Israel has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians and injured 88,000 others since it launched its bombing campaign in Gaza in October, according to the Ministry of Health.

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