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France president condemns Israel for attack on UN refugee camp in Palestine

[JURIST] French President Francois Hollande [official website, in French] on Thursday condemned [press release, in French] the Israeli shelling of a UN school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, killing six Palestinians. The attack came shortly after Israel declared a four-hour "humanitarian ceasefire" [France24 report] to allow Palestinians to evacuate their dead and wounded. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) [official website] described the attack [official statement] as "an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] and the United States [Guardian report] have also condemned the attack [UN News Centre report], describing the attack as "outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice."

Tensions have reached new heights in the Levant between Palestine and Israel in recent weeks. Earlier this week the UN Human Rights Council announced its intention to create an international commission of inquiry [JURIST report] that will investigate all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, specifically during Israel's latest military offensive in Gaza. Last month Ban urged Israel to release Palestinian administrative detainees [JURIST report] over fears of failing health in a hunger strike. In April an independent UN human rights expert urged Israel to prevent settlers from taking over a building [JURIST report] in the West Bank city of Hebron. The house was strategically located between the illegal Israel settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Ibrahami Mosque, and Israeli settlement in the building had caused an increase in violence and harassment against Palestinians in the area. Also in April the UN confirmed that Palestinian officials have delivered letters of accession [JURIST report] to 15 international conventions and treaties.

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