UN experts denounce that Palestinians were “buried alive” by Israeli forces in Gaza graves

UN Human Rights experts expressed their condemnation this Monday after the discovery of mass graves with bodies of people with signs of having been tortured, executed and even buried alive during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip. They also warn of the high number of civilian victims of the conflict, which “disproportionately” affects women and girls.

“We are horrified by the details about the recently discovered mass graves in the Gaza Strip. More than 390 bodies have been discovered in Al Nasser and Al Shifa hospitals, including those of women and children, and many of them appear to bear signs of torture and summary executions and possible cases of people buried alive,” the experts noted in a statement.

Likewise, they warn that women and minors “are among those most exposed to danger” in this conflict. Almost half of the more than 34,000 Palestinians killed are minors and almost a third are women. Among the more than 78,000 injured, 75 percent are women and of the more than 8,000 missing, more than half are women and children, according to estimates by UN experts.

The figures imply about 63 women die every day, of which 37 are mothers. A total of 17,000 Palestinian minors have been orphaned since the start of the Israeli offensive.

There are also 1.7 million internally displaced people and 1.1 million Gazans suffer “catastrophic levels” of food insecurity, according to statistics.


The report also draws attention to the cases of women and girls who are subjected to forced disappearances attributed to the Israeli military forces. In this sense, they reproach the Israeli Government for not having carried out an “independent, impartial and effective” investigation into the accusations of sexual assault and violence against women and girls. They also denounce the destruction by Israel of the most important fertility clinic in the enclave, where some 3,000 embryos were stored.

“The treatment of pregnant or breastfeeding women remains deplorable with the direct bombing of hospitals and the deliberate denial of access to health facilities by Israeli snipers, combined with the lack of beds and medical resources putting some 50,000 Palestinian women pregnant. and 20,000 newborns at unimaginable risk,” they warned.

More than 183 women give birth a day in Gaza without any painkillers and “hundreds of babies have died due to lack of electricity supply to incubators.” “The terrible conditions have caused a 300 percent increase in spontaneous abortions and 95 percent of pregnant and breastfeeding women are in a situation of serious food poverty,” they added.

Some 690,000 women and girls in Gaza do not have the means to navigate the menstrual cycle with privacy and dignity, and there have been cases of contraceptive medication being used to prevent unhygienic menstrual conditions.

In general, the “unprecedented destruction” of homes and the precariousness of daily life “have disproportionately affected women and girls.” “Nothing better illustrates the systematic violence suffered by women and their children than the story of a baby who was saved from the womb of her mother who died in an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, but who died days later, on April 26 , in an incubator”, they have reported.

“We are dismayed that women are attacked by Israel so viciously, with indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. It seems that they spare no means to destroy their lives and deny them their fundamental rights,” they reproached.

For all these reasons, they ask Israel to “cease all hostilities” and the States to “immediately cease all arms exports.” “These States cannot continue to ignore that weapons are used to kill and maim innocent women and children. There are no more excuses,” they appealed.

The signatories are the special rapporteur for violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, Reem al Salem; the special rapporteur for the situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese; the special rapporteur for the right to adequate housing, BAlakrishnan Rajagopal; the special rapporteur for the right to food, Michael Fakhri; the special rapporteur for the rights to safe drinking water and sewerage, Pedro Arrojo Agudo; the special rapporteur for the Human Rights of internally displaced persons, Paula Gaviria Betancur, and the special rapporteur for the promotion and protection of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms during the fight against terrorism, Ben Saul.

The experts are part of the Special Procedures body of the UN Human Rights Council, the largest expert body in the UN Human Rights system. They are independent experts in Human Rights appointed by the UN Human Rights Council who collaborate on a voluntary basis and are not officials of the organization.

By Editor

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