Israeli aggression on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and its Refugee Camp, killing at least 12 Palestinians, may constitute a war crime, UN experts said Wednesday, July 6.
The experts are Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, Reem Alsalem, Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, and Paula Gaviria Betancur, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.
“Israeli forces’ operations in the occupied West Bank, killing and seriously injuring the occupied population, destroying their homes and infrastructure, and arbitrarily displacing thousands, amount to egregious violations of international law and standards on the use of force and may constitute a war crime,” the experts said.
They added, “The attacks were the fiercest in the West Bank since the destruction of the Jenin camp in 2002.”
On July 3, the Israeli occupation launched a military operation on Jenin City and Camp, as over 1200 Israeli soldiers participated in it, killing at least 12 Palestinians, including five children, and injuring over 100 others, including 20 critical injuries.
The attacks forced thousands of Palestinians to flee and damaged infrastructure, houses, and apartment buildings.
More than 4,000 Palestinian citizens reportedly fled the Jenin Refugee Camp overnight on Monday and Tuesday after the deadly Israeli air strikes on the camp.
UN experts pointed out that many ambulances were prevented from accessing Jenin Refugee Camp to evacuate the wounded.
“It is heartbreaking 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,” they said.
The experts added that the so-called “counter-terrorism” Israeli military operation found no justification under international law.
They emphasized, “The attacks constitute collective punishment of the Palestinian people, who have been labeled a “collective security threat” in the eyes of Israeli authorities.”
The UN experts called for the Israeli occupation to be held accountable under international law for its illegal occupation of Palestine and violent acts against them.
“The Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are protected persons under international law, guaranteed of all human rights including the presumption of innocence,” they said.
The experts stressed, “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.”