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HomeworldMassive destruction of Gaza housing a war crime: UN expert

Massive destruction of Gaza housing a war crime: UN expert

GENEVA: The widespread and systematic bombardment of housing and civilian infrastructure in Gaza amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity, an independent United Nations expert said on Wednesday (Nov 8).

A month of Israeli attacks on targets within the Gaza Strip have destroyed or damaged 45 per cent of all housing units in the Palestinian territory, Balakrishnan Rajagopal said, warning the destruction comes at a “tremendous cost to human life”.

The UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing stressed that systematic or widespread bombardment of housing, civilian objects and infrastructure is strictly prohibited under international law.

“Carrying out hostilities with the knowledge that they will systematically destroy and damage civilian housing and infrastructure, rendering an entire city – such as Gaza City – uninhabitable for civilians is a war crime,” he said.

When such acts are “directed against a civilian population, they also amount to crimes against humanity”, he said.

Israel launched its massive bombardment campaign in the Gaza Strip after Hamas militants staged an unprecedented attack on Oct 7, killing more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians, and taking more than 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, Israel’s bombardment has killed more than 10,500 people, most of them women and children.

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