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Israeli plans to ‘expand’ offensive in Gaza at end of pause 'deeply worrying': UN rights office

The UN human rights office expressed deep concern over recent statements made by Israeli political and leadership figures regarding their intention to escalate the military offensive in Gaza following the humanitarian pause.

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published November 28,2023

Recent comments from Israeli political and leadership that they plan to expand the military offensive in Gaza at the end of the humanitarian pause are "deeply worrying," the UN human rights office said on Tuesday.

"The comments of Israeli political and military leadership in recent days that they plan to expand and intensify the military offensive across Gaza following the pause are deeply worrying." Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told Anadolu.

She urged all parties of the conflict as well as states with influence to use the current humanitarian pause "to work towards a full cease-fire, on human rights and humanitarian grounds."

Nothing that there has been an "important respite" from the "hellfire" of the past seven weeks for civilians in Gaza, and some families have been reunited with loved ones, Hurtado said: "Much more must be done."

"The protection of civilians must be the top priority," she added.

She stressed that in order to ensure that aid meets the needs of the civilian population, the humanitarian space must be improved - "including through the opening of a crossing from Israel."

Israeli officials have said that at the end of the humanitarian pause in Gaza, now in its fifth day and set to go on for a sixth, the army would resume its military offensive on the enclave.

Qatar announced an agreement late Monday to extend the initial four-day humanitarian pause for an additional two days, under which further prisoner exchanges will be carried out.

Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

It has since killed over 15,000 people, including 6,150 children and 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.