Israeli airstrikes on civilians in Gaza 'cannot be justified': UN humanitarian coordinator

Ahram Online , Monday 11 Dec 2023

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings condemned the Israeli offensive and siege against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as the world marked International Human Rights on Sunday.

Lynn Hastings
Lynn Hastings, of Canada, United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the West Bank and Gaza, speaks during a news conference on May 23, 2021, in Gaza City. AP


"The air strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure... cannot be justified. Nor can the siege, depriving the entire Gaza population of food, water, health care, and hygiene," Hastings wrote in a statement.

Israel must allow the delivery of humanitarian aid inside Gaza, she said, reiterating others' calls for a ceasefire.

She also noted "unprecedented levels" of Israeli state and settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Hastings also called for the unconditional release of hostages held by Hamas since 7 October.

Sunday marked 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed, setting out for the first time that fundamental human rights are to be universally protected.

"In 2023, I should not have to issue such a statement. It is as if we have learned nothing in the past 75 years," Hastings wrote.

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