UN warns of 'apocalypse' in Gaza amid Israel's unrelenting bombardment
The UN human rights chief says Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are living in "utter, deepening horror" as he pleaded for an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israeli aggression on the besieged territory.
Volker Turk told a press conference Wednesday that some 1.9 million displaced Palestinians are being forced into smaller and smaller pockets of southern Gaza. The conditions are “overcrowded” and “unsanitary,” he said.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights further said there was a high risk of atrocity crimes being committed in such "catastrophic" humanitarian circumstances."
"Civilians in Gaza continue to be relentlessly bombarded by Israel and collectively punished -- suffering death, siege, destruction and deprivation of the most essential human needs such as food, water, lifesaving medical supplies and other essentials on a massive scale."
He further stated Palestinians in Gaza are facing “utter, deepening horror” as disease spreads, food is scarce and humanitarian aid is all but cut off.
“My humanitarian colleagues have described the situation as apocalyptic,” Turk added, saying the catastrophe “was entirely foreseeable and preventable”.
"As an immediate step, I call for an urgent cessation of hostilities and the release of all hostages," he said, adding: "You need to come back to your senses."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Turk said he was gravely concerned by "dehumanizing and inciteful statements" made by current and former Israeli authorities.
"History has shown us where this kind of language can lead," he said. "This is not just unacceptable, but a competent court may view such statements, in the circumstances in which they were made, as incitement to atrocity crimes."
As the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip continues, Palestinian resistance fighters also keep up their retaliatory operations, dealing a severe blow to invading regime troops.
Hamas has released a video showing that the al-Qassam Brigades, the movement’s military wing, killed some 60 Israeli soldiers inside their tents in the Juhr al-Dik area of central Gaza.
Fatalities among Israeli soldiers are believed to be much higher but the regime doesn’t disclose the exact figure.
The onslaught has killed over 16,200 Palestinians since it began two months ago. Around 70 percent of those killed are women and children.