A panel of independent United Nations experts strongly criticized the violence directed at civilians in Israel on Thursday and expressed deep concern that the retaliatory attacks on Gaza were a form of “collective punishment.” While condemning the “horrific crimes committed by Hamas,” the group also pointed out that Israel had employed “non-discriminatory military strikes on the already vulnerable Palestinian population in Gaza.”
“They have lived under unlawful blockade for 16 years, and already gone through five major brutal wars, which remain unaccounted for,” the group, which includes several UN special rapporteurs, said in a statement.
“This amounts to collective punishment. There is no justification for violence that indiscriminately targets innocent civilians, whether by Hamas or Israeli forces. This is absolutely prohibited under international law and amounts to a war crime.”