Israel must stop using starvation, siege, forced displacement as war methods in Gaza: Egypt at HRC55

Ahram Online , Saturday 6 Apr 2024

Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and for the immediate cessation of Israel’s use of starvation, siege, and forced displacement as methods of war.

Ambassador Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin


In a statement during the conclusion of the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Gamaleldin reiterated Egypt’s strong condemnation of Israel’s intentional destruction of the Al-Shifa Hospital.

He also slammed the continued targeting of innocent civilians and humanitarian workers in the Palestinian territories, including the World Central Kitchen workers.

Gamaleldin underlined the biased position of some HRC members who continue to ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people and the unprecedented gross violations against them.

In his statement, Gamaleldin also expressed Egypt’s deep regrets that  “timid” condemnations have failed to address the tragedy in Gaza and other Palestinian territories, where over 100,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed or injured.

The Egyptian representative also warned categorically against any Israeli military offensive in the Palestinian city of Rafah.

He stressed that Israel, as the occupying power, is obligated to implement all Security Council resolutions, ensuring safe, sustainable, and immediate access to humanitarian assistance throughout all of Gaza, 

“The catastrophe persisting in Gaza represents a black stain on the collective conscience of the International community,” the statement noted.

Gamaleldin also denounced the helplessness and the blind eye of the international community towards the current catastrophe.

He urged the Human Rights Council to assume its full responsibility and fairly uphold the rules-based order concerning all people of the world without double standards and discrimination.

The UN has already said that Israel's severe restrictions on aid to war-ravaged Gaza and its ongoing hostilities could amount to using starvation as a weapon of war, which would be a war crime.

HRC resolutions on occupied Palestinian territory

HRC55, which concluded on Friday, adopted three resolutions on the occupied Palestinian territory.

The first resolution, “Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and the obligation to ensure accountability and justice”, was adopted with twenty-eight votes in favour, six in opposition and thirteen abstentions.

The resolution expresses grave concern at possible crimes against humanity in the occupied Palestinian territory and the International Court of Justice’s determination that the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation are plausibly at risk of genocide.

It expresses concern over the risk posed by arms and ammunition transfers to Israel, which could contribute to further violations of international humanitarian law.

It calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war, an end to the occupation without delay, and urgent and unhindered humanitarian relief to the strip.

The resolution condemns all attacks on civilians and calls for the immediate release of all hostages and detainees while warning against military operations in the city of Rafah.

The second resolution, “Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”, was adopted with 42 votes in favour, two in opposition, and three abstentions.

The resolution reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to live in freedom, justice and dignity, and an independent State of Palestine.

It stresses the need for achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting solution for the Palestinian cause and calls upon Israel to immediately end its occupation of Palestinian territory.

The third resolution, “Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan", was adopted with 36 votes in favour, three in opposition and eight abstentions.

The resolution highlights the devastating humanitarian and human rights consequences of Israel’s illegal settlement policy in the occupied territories.

It calls upon Israel to comply with all its obligations under international law and to cease immediately all actions causing the alteration of the character, status and demographic composition of the occupied territories.

It also calls on states and international organizations to avoid taking any action aimed at recognizing, aiding, or assisting the expansion of settlements or the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

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