Israel's deadly strikes on Gaza amount to 'collective punishment': UN experts.

A group of United Nations human rights experts Thursday denounced attacks on civilians in Gaza and in Israel in the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that the Jewish state is now committing "war crimes" through "collective punishment" by blockading aid to the Gaza enclave.

The war has killed at least 2,500 people on both sides. Concerns for civilians in Gaza have mounted in recent days as the territory runs out of power and medical supplies due to a complete blockade by Israel.

"There is no justification for violence that indiscriminately targets innocent civilians, whether by Hamas or Israeli forces. This is absolutely prohibited under international law and amounts to a war crime," the experts said.

The rights experts warned of a severe humanitarian crisis in the enclave and of the "inescapable risk of starvation"A

faced by its population, adding that "intentional starvation is a crime against humanity."

UN humanitarian agencies Thursday warned that the sealed-off Gaza is on the brink of running out of food, water, electricity and critical supplies.

No aid can come in from the outside for the 2.3 million residents of the besieged enclave, and some 220,000 displaced people are sheltering in schools run by the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA.

The UN agencies said they are continuing to support Gaza's population as best as possible. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that together with UNRWA it delivered fresh bread from "bakeries still able to operate" and food

to over 175,000 displaced people across 88 shelters on Wednesday, with plans to "reach over 800,000 people across Palestine".

The agency stressed that its food assistance stocks were running out and called for urgent aid access.

UNRWA further announced on Thursday that 12 of its personnel have been killed since 7 October in the Gaza Strip.

The UN agency wrote on social platform X, "we mourn this loss and are grieving with our colleagues and the families", reiterating that "UN staff and civilians must be protected at all times."A

The experts, who include Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, called for urgent accountability for the "horrific crimes committed by Hamas".

The rights experts also condemned Israel's "indiscriminate" attacks against Palestinian civilians in Gaza and a further tightening of the "unlawful blockade" against the enclave."

"There is no justification for violence that...

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