UN’s top human rights official urges probe into Israeli raid on Gaza

Sergio Vieira de Mello

The High Commissioner for Human Rights was deeply disturbed to learn of the deaths of at least 10 Palestinians, including two United Nations staff working with UNRWA, during an attack this morning by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) on the Bureij refugee camp.

The current level of violence that causes civilian losses, including of children and elders, is profoundly disquieting. It is making the provision of humanitarian assistance extremely difficult.

In light of the demolition by the IDF of the World Food Programme warehouse last week and the killing on 22 November of Iain Hook, the project manager of UNRWA’s Jenin camp rehabilitation project and a former and highly respected colleague in East Timor, the High Commissioner remains extremely concerned for the safety and wellbeing of all civilians, including UN personnel, living and working in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The High Commissioner reiterates his call to the Israeli authorities to refrain from the indiscriminate use of force in civilian areas. The principle of proportionality must always be applied and all necessary measures taken to avoid loss of life or injury to civilians. The High Commissioner calls on the Israeli authorities conduct a full and transparent investigation into this pattern of serious incidents, mindful of human rights and humanitarian law. He also calls on the Israeli authorities to provide UNRWA with full support in investigating those accidents involving its staff.

This press release was originally titled “High Commissioner deeply disturbed by attacks in Gaza”

Related Links:

  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights