UN Human Rights Chief warns of 'atrocity crimes' in Gaza

United Nations, Dec 6 (IANS): The UN's Human Rights Chief Volker Turk said on Wednesday that Palestinians are living in "utter, deepening, horror, " the media reported.

Turk was speaking in Geneva, where he told journalists that in the conflict in Gaza there was a heightened risk of "atrocity crimes," BBC reported.

He also warned both Israel and Hamas leaders against what he said were "dehumanising statements" which could be seen by a competent court as "incitement to atrocity crimes".

Turk also addressed the reports of sexual violence committed by Hamas, which he said he took extremely seriously,

They must be investigated, he added, because the victims must get justice, BBC reported.

He revealed that he had written to the Israeli government in the second week of October, offering to deploy a team of UN human rights monitors to investigate the attacks on Israel.

He said he had yet to receive an answer, but still hoped for a response.

Israel has traditionally refused to cooperate with UN human rights investigators, claiming they are biased, BBC reported.

Israel's relationship with international organisations like the UN and the ICRC has worsened recently, amid claims by Israel that they are neglecting the suffering of Israelis in the Hamas attack, and sensitivity from Israel over aid agencies' vocal concerns about the conduct of the war in Gaza.

This week Israel said it would not renew the visa of the Resident UN humanitarian coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories, because it had lost trust in her.



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Title: UN Human Rights Chief warns of 'atrocity crimes' in Gaza

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