Israel’s restrictions on Gaza aid ‘could be war crime’

The U.N.'s human rights chief has told the BBC that Israel is using starvation as a weapon in the war-torn Gaza by blocking aid deliveries, citing that if this intention is proven, it could be considered a war crime.

According to a report from the U.K. daily on March 28, Volker Türk said that Israel carries a significant portion of the blame in the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, adding that there are a series of credible arguments that Israel is employing starvation as a method of warfare in Gaza.

Türk also mentioned the presence of evidence indicating Israel is deliberately delaying or blocking the distribution of aid, noting that when Israel's intent would constitute a war crime.

He emphasized that all parties involved in the conflict must be held responsible for their actions, including any efforts to impede the delivery of necessary aid to the inhabitants of Gaza.

Türk said that his humanitarian colleagues constantly informed him about the extensive bureaucracy encompassing numerous barriers and complications that eventually led to delays and blocks in deliveries.

Türk's remarks came after the United Nations reported late on March 27 that famine "is ever closer to becoming a reality in northern Gaza," and said the territory's health system is collapsing "due to ongoing hostilities and access constraints."

Israeli bombardment continued to pound Gaza yesterday, with the Health Ministry in the territory reporting that at least 32,552 people have been killed in the war.

The ministry, in a preliminary toll issued early yesterday, said 66 people were killed overnight.

Fighting continued around three of the strip's hospitals, raising fears for patients, medical staff and displaced people inside them.

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