The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, visited the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, to witness the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave and call for an urgent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Türk described the crossing as a “lifeline” for the 2.3 million people in Gaza, who have been suffering from a 56-year occupation and a 16-year blockade by Israel, as well as a month-long bombardment by the Israeli forces that has killed more than 10,500 people, including over 4,300 children and 2,800 women.
In #Rafah I was at the gates to what is a living nightmare in #Gaza. I feel, at my core, the pain and immense suffering of every person whose loved one has been killed. We must all feel this shared pain and end this nightmare.https://t.co/g7Te1sWfZT pic.twitter.com/ifFsXmerxo
— Volker Türk (@volker_turk) November 8, 2023
He also denounced the Israel collective punishment to the people of Gaza. The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians. The massive bombardments by Israel have killed, maimed and injured in particular women and children. The latest death toll from the Gaza Ministry of Health is in excess of 10,500 people, including over 4,300 children and 2,800 women. All of this has an unbearable toll on civilians.
Türk praised Egypt’s role in facilitating the delivery of aid to Gaza and the evacuation of injured people, but stressed that the aid was insufficient and limited in reach. He appealed for the opening of all crossings and the lifting of the siege on Gaza, as well as the release of all hostages.
He also emphasized the need for a political solution to end the occupation and the conflict.