7/23/2014

ONU: Número de víctimas civiles en el conflicto de Gaza "debe pesar sobre nuestras conciencias"

23 de julio 2014 - Un niño ha muerto en Gaza cada hora durante los últimos dos días, dijo un funcionario de ayuda humanitaria de las Naciones Unidas de alto nivel en una reunión de emergencia del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU, éste se reunió para discutir los posibles abusos de derechos cometidos en el territorio palestino ocupado, incluida Jerusalén.



(Foto: Un niño, visto a través de un agujero en un edificio destruido, mira su libro escolar sentado en medio de los escombros de una casa que fue destruida durante un ataque aéreo israelí en la ciudad de Khan Yunis).

"En Gaza, 443 o el 74 por ciento de los muertos son civiles", dijo Kang. "Un tercio de los civiles asesinados eran niños. Cada uno de estos niños tenían un nombre y un futuro y una vida que fue eliminada terriblemente".

Navi Pillay, quien abrió la sesión especial, dijo que esta es la tercera grave escalada de las hostilidades en la zona durante los seis años que ha estado al Alto Comisionado de la ONU para los Derechos Humanos. Al igual que en 2009 y 2012 ", los niños, las mujeres, los ancianos y las personas con discapacidades" son los más afectados.

Ambos funcionarios lamentaron que cada niña y niño de siete años de edad, hoy en Gaza, han vivido toda su vida en estado de sitio, ya que la lucha más reciente es su tercer gran conflicto y la catástrofe humanitaria, lo que agrava la crisis humanitaria causada por el bloqueo de siete años de enclave.

"Yo reitero inequívocamente a todos los actores de este conflicto que los civiles no deben ser objetivos dirigidos", dijo Pillay. "Es imperativo que Israel, Hamas y todos los grupos armados palestinos respeten estrictamente las normas aplicables del derecho internacional humanitario y derecho internacional de los derechos humanos".

Subrayó la importancia de aplicar los principios de distinción entre civiles y combatientes, y entre bienes de carácter civil y objetivos militares, así como la proporcionalidad y precauciones en el ataque.

"No acatar estos principios puede equivaler a crímenes de guerra y crímenes contra la humanidad", dijo la representante del Alto Comisionado.

La nota completa en inglés:

Civilian toll
in Gaza conflict ‘should weigh heavily on our consciences,’ UN Rights Council told

23 July 2014 – A child has been killed in Gaza every hour for the past two days, a senior United Nations humanitarian official said in an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council convened to discuss potential rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

Kyung-Wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that since the Israeli military launched operation “Protective Edge” on 7 July, over 600 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip and another 3,504 were injured. In addition, 28 Israelis, including two civilians, were killed.

“In Gaza, 443 or 74 per cent of the killed are civilians,” Ms. Kang said. “One third of civilians killed so far are children. Each of these children had a name and a future and a life that was cut horribly short.”
Navi Pillay, who opened the special session, saidthat this is the third serious escalation of hostilities in the area during the six years that she has been the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. As in 2009 and 2012 “children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities” suffer the most. 

She also called for an end to the culture of impunity and underscored that credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity from earlier escalations of hostilities in Gaza must be properly investigated as “so far, they have not been”.

Noting that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was currently in the region hoping to bolster support for a ceasefire, Ms. Pillay said she hoped that the parties will respond positively, but cautioned that a lasting peace can only begin with respect for human rights and human dignity, and in the full realization of the right to self-determination.

“All these dead and maimed civilians should weigh heavily on all our consciences. I know that they weigh heavily on mine,” she said, adding that efforts to protect civilians so far have been “abject failures”. 

“More powerful entities, such as the Security Council, and individual States with serious leverage over the parties to this dreadful and interminable conflict, must do far more than they have done so far to bring this conflict to an end once and for all,” she urged.

The Human Rights Commissioner also reiterated her called for the blockade on Gaza to be lifted. The blockade, which has destroyed the area’s economy, has resulted in high unemployment rates and a growing dependence on international aid.

The latest round of conflict has disrupted water and sanitation services, as well as electricity, including the Gaza Power Plant which was shut down yesterday. 


The Council also heard from Makarim Wibisono, the Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, who spoke on behalf of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

He noted that in addition to killing people, the fighting had destroyed homes leaving several thousand families homeless. At the same time, Mr. Wibisono stressed that the right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation could not justify the launching of thousands of rockets and mortars directed against Israeli civilians.

At least 2,000 rockets and mortars have reportedly been fired towards Israel since earlier this month, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Meanwhile, over 2,900 targets in Palestine were struck during the same period, the UN agency confirmed.

The fighting has forced approximately 118,000 Palestinians to seek refuge in 77 schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA’s Director of Legal Affairs, Lance Bartholomeusz, told the Council.

This figure is about 6 per cent of Gaza’s population, and double the peak in UNRWA shelters during the 2008 to 2009 conflict, Mr. Bartholomeusz said. 

Civilians in Gaza have no safe place to go with 44 per cent of the land declared a ‘no-go zone’ by the Israeli army, according to OCHA.

The UNRWA facilities are not immune to destruction. At least 18 medical facilities, include five UNRWA health clinics have been hit by airstrikes and shelling. In addition, at least one school was hit on Monday alone, then a second time on Tuesday when UN humanitarian workers went to survey the damage.

The UN agency is appealing for $115 million and humanitarian agencies are expected to issue a full Flash Appeal in the coming days, Ms. Kagan said.

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