UN human rights experts have strongly condemned Israeli air strikes and ground operations in the occupied West Bank that targeted the Jenin Refugee Camp, killing and injuring civilians, destroying homes and displacing thousands of Palestinians.
In a statement released by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the experts said that the Israeli actions may amount to a war crime and violate international law and standards on the use of force.
They also denounced the Israeli assault as unjustified and collective punishment of the Palestinian population, who are protected persons under international law.
The experts said that the attacks on Jenin Refugee Camp were the fiercest in the West Bank since 2002, when the Israeli occupation demolished most of the camp in a military operation that killed dozens of Palestinians.
They expressed grave concern about the humanitarian situation in the camp, where ambulances were reportedly blocked from accessing the wounded and around 4,000 Palestinians fled in fear overnight on Monday and Tuesday.
“It is heart-breaking to see thousands of Palestinian refugees originally displaced since 1947-1949, forced to march out of the camp in abject fear at the dead of night,” the experts said.
The experts called for an end to the Israeli illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian land, and for accountability for its acts of violence.
“For this relentless violence to end, Israel’s illegal occupation must end. It cannot be corrected or improved in the margins, because it is wrong to the core,” they said.