UN: attacks on refugee camp in Gaza may amount to war crimes

The United Nations Human Rights Commission stated Wednesday that it had “serious concerns” that the recent airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza could amount to war crimes.

Israel claimed responsibility for the airstrikes on Tuesday that hit the camp, claiming that Hamas militants had an underground bunker in the camp and were using the refugees as human shields.  While Israel claimed that it did destroy the Hamas target, the strike also left dozens of civilians dead and over one hundred injured within the camp. Since the initial bombing of the camp on Tuesday there has been another strike on the camp on Wednesday which Israel claims has killed a Hamas commander.

In a press briefing, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General stated that they are continuing to monitor the situation closely in order to ascertain the best course of action. This came after another statement by the Secretary-General of the UN which condemned the violence in the region and called for a humanitarian-based ceasefire. The statement also called for the immediate release of all hostages and that the protection of civilians should under no circumstances be compromised.

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in a letter addressed to the General Assembly, reiterated the need for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and called attention to the attacks on the camps, stating the conditions in Gaza are causing “extraordinary human suffering.” Grandi also brought attention to the 67 United Nations relief workers in Gaza who have been killed since the conflict began. He strongly condemned the actions of Hamas and called for all hostages to be released immediately.