Mohammed Abad Agence France-Presse A man walks among the rubble in Gaza City , bombed by Israel.
The total siege of the Gaza Strip announced Monday by the Israeli Defense Minister is “prohibited” by international humanitarian law, the UN recalled on Tuesday.
“The imposition of sieges which endanger the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential to their survival is prohibited by international humanitarian law,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said in a statement.< /p>
The High Commission recalls that “any restriction on the movement of people and goods aimed at implementing a siege must be justified by military necessity, otherwise it may constitute collective punishment. »
Volker Türk said he was “deeply shocked and outraged by the allegations of summary executions of civilians and, in some cases, horrific massacres perpetrated by members of Palestinian armed groups. »
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He asked these groups to “immediately and unconditionally release all civilians captured and still detained. »
“The taking of hostages is prohibited by international law,” he stressed.
He also indicated that according to the information available to his services, the bombings of Gaza by the Israeli armed forces caused “civilian victims.”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced Monday the imposition of a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip, on the third day of the offensive launched against Israel from this Palestinian territory by the Islamist movement Hamas.
“No electricity, no water, not gas,” Mr. Gallant said.
Some 2.3 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, a densely populated and poverty-stricken territory that has been under Israeli blockade since 2007.
It is from Gaza that the unprecedented attacks carried out against Israel since Saturday by the Islamist group Hamas, which left more than 900 dead in Israel.
The Israel's military response has left nearly 700 dead in Gaza, according to Palestinian authorities.
It has also displaced more than 187,500 people inside the Gaza Strip since Saturday, the Palestinian Authority said. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday.