Home News UN Human Rights chief decries killing of children and women in Rafah

UN Human Rights chief decries killing of children and women in Rafah

Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, strongly condemned the recent Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, which resulted in significant casualties, predominantly children and women.

According to authorities in Gaza, of the 34,151 Palestinian casualties, 14,685 are children and 9,670 are women, with an additional 77,084 injured and more than 7,000 presumed buried under rubble.

Türk noted the disturbing rate of casualties, saying that “every 10 minutes a child is killed or wounded.” He said children, though protected under war laws, are disproportionately affected. 

He also expressed concern over the destruction of An Nasser Medical Complex and Al Shifa Medical Complex and the discovery of mass graves nearby, calling for thorough, independent investigations with international involvement to address the prevailing impunity.

Türk described the violence in Rafah as extreme, citing the image of a premature child removed from her deceased mother, saying, “This is beyond warfare.” 

In a parallel call for peace, Pope Francis, during his General Audience on 24 April, reiterated his plea for global peace, emphasizing the devastating consequences of war. 

He urged prayers for conflict-stricken regions like Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, and Myanmar. The pontiff renewed his call for peaceful resolutions and reconciliation. 

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The Pope said that “war is always a defeat” and condemned the profiteering of arms manufacturers from these conflicts.

He pointed to the suffering in Gaza and called for prayers for the Middle East, stressing the need for a peaceful solution between Palestine and Israel. “That they may be two states, free and with good relations,” he prayed.

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