Israeli ultimatum to Gaza must be reversed

Published 13. Oct 2023
Statement by Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, on Israeli relocation ultimatum to Gaza civilians:

“The Israeli military demand that 1.2 million civilians in northern Gaza relocate to its south within 24 hours, absent of any guarantees of safety or return, would amount to the war crime of forcible transfer. It must be reversed.

“The collective punishment of countless civilians, among them children, women, and the elderly, in retaliation for acts of horrible terror undertaken by armed men is illegal under international law.

“My colleagues inside Gaza confirm that there are countless people in the northern parts who have no means to safely relocate under the constant barrage of fire.

“The loss of civilian lives caused by deliberate or indiscriminate use of force is a war crime for which the perpetrators will have to answer. We fear that Israel may claim that Palestinians who could not flee northern Gaza can be erroneously held as directly participating in hostilities, and targeted.

“The United States, the UK, the European Union, and other Western and Arab Nations who have influence over the Israeli political and military leadership must demand that the illegal and impossible order to relocate is immediately rescinded.”

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