UN presses Israel to avoid strikes on civilian structures in Gaza

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
briefing reporters in Geneva
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Geneva: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) pressed Israel to avoid strikes on civilian structures in Gaza, and UNICEF said children in the enclave were showing signs of severe trauma after direct hits on dwellings that have killed dozens of civilians.

Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesman Rupert Colville said that at least 57 Palestinian civilians, including 18 children, are confirmed as having been killed, according to OHCHR monitors who say the death toll had doubled in the past 48 hours. Ten more people were killed overnight but it was unclear how many were civilians.

Colville told journalists that "attacks affecting schools and religious sites, as well as the reported targeting of homes and media outlets during the past 48 hours raise serious concerns about Israel's commitment to its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law".

Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson for UNICEF told journalists at the same briefing: "Children are increasingly showing signs of severe psychosocial distress – this includes inability to sleep, being afraid to go out in public, clinging to parents, bedwetting, nightmares and withdrawal. The children are surrounded by images of death and destruction."

Mercado added that some 31 residences in Gaza and two buildings used by media have been hit by Israeli missiles so far, and hundreds of people have been injured. -UNifeed
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