OHCHR / GAZA TURK AMMAN PRESSER

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10-Nov-2023 00:06:51
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Friday spoke about the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory at a news conference in Amman at the end of his mission to Egypt and Jordan. OHCHR

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STORY: OHCHR / GAZA TURK AMMAN PRESSER
TRT: 06:51
SOURCE: OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 09, 10 NOVEMBER 2023, AMMAN, JORDAN

SHOTLIST:

09 NOVEMBER 2023, AMMAN, JORDAN

1. Wide shot, travelling shot Amman
2. Med shot, Arrival travelling shot MFA Amman
3. Interior shot, HC meeting with Ambassador Majed Alqatarneh

10 NOVEMBER 2023, AMMAN, JORDAN

4. Wide shot, Amman
5. Various shot, HC meeting remotely with Palestinian and Israeli Civil society NGOs
6. Pan right, from exteriors to HC speaking on phone with staff in Gaza
7. Various shots, HC speaking on phone with staff in Gaza
8. Wide shot, press conference
SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“His children, aged nine and seven, are asking him questions he does not know how to answer: “Why is this happening to us? What did we do?”
9. Med shot, Press conference
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Another Palestinian UN colleague in Gaza told me how she had to flee at 1am with her children to find shelter far from home, but that she always keeps her bags close as they may need to flee again at short notice. Her sister-in-law was killed yesterday, and close friends the day before. Water is scarce, and fear is pervasive.”
11. Med shot, Press conference
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“In just a short visit to El Arish Hospital in Rafah, Egypt, I saw many children injured in Gaza – a three-year-old boy with two broken legs, a five-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl with severe burns, an eight-year-old girl with spinal injuries, and others. These were the “lucky” children who suffered terribly but are still alive and receiving proper medical treatment”.
13. Med shot, Press conference
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“The atrocious attacks by Hamas against Israel on 7 October should outrage each and every one of us. There needs to be justice, accountability and remedy for the victims of these atrocious crimes. The hostages need to be brought back home and indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel needs to cease.”
15. Med shot, Press conference
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“But it is clear that enduring peace and security cannot be delivered by the exercise of fury and pain against people who have no responsibility for the crimes that were committed – including the 99 UNRWA staff members who have been killed. This is unprecedented, outrageous and deeply heartbreaking.”
17. Med shot, Press conference
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Some hospitals, including Al Quds and Al Shifa hospitals have also received specific evacuation orders, in addition to the general evacuation orders to all of northern residents of Gaza. But such evacuation, as the World Health Organization has warned, is a “death sentence” in a context where the entire medical system is collapsing and hospitals in southern Gaza have no capacity to absorb more patients.”
19. Cutaways: Press conference
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Demands for civilians to relocate to an Israeli Defence Force designated “safe zone” are also very alarming. A so-called “safe zone,” when established unilaterally, can heighten risks to civilians, and raises real questions as to whether security can be guaranteed in practice. At the moment, nowhere in Gaza is safe, as bombardments are being reported in all parts of the Strip. It also needs to be absolutely clear that civilians are protected under international law wherever they are.”
21. Med shot, Press conference
22. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“[I call on the Israeli authorities] to comply with their obligations as occupying power to protect the Palestinian population, to issue clear and unambiguous orders to security forces to ensure the protection of the Palestinian population against settler violence, and to hold to account those who fail to comply with such orders.”
23. Med shot, Press conference
24. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Rather than discrediting and penalizing human rights defenders – and the UN – for documenting violations, the authorities need to ensure accountability which is an essential step towards de-escalating tensions at this volatile time. We have learned time and again, throughout history, that extremism only sows further extremism. Steps really must be taken to break this cycle of vengeance, death, grief and rage.”
25. Wide shot, Press conference
26. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations:
“Stop the violence. Guarantee the safety of humanitarian workers. Provide safe access to ensure humanitarian assistance to all those in need. Make sure people have enough to eat, clean water to drink, medical care and shelter. Free the hostages. Bring to justice – in line with human rights law – the perpetrators of serious violations. The solution to this situation is the end of the occupation, and full respect for the right to self-determination for Palestinians. As I have said time and again, for the violence to end, the occupation needs to end. Member States need to invest all the effort that is necessary into finding a sustainable peace for all Palestinians and Israelis.”
27. Wide shot, Press conference

STORYLINE:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Friday (11 Nov) spoke about the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory at a news conference in Amman at the end of his mission to Egypt and Jordan.

During his mission, the High Commissioner spoke to UN colleagues, including one in Rafah who had to rush from Gaza city with his pregnant wife, two young children, and other family members.

“His children, aged nine and seven, are asking him questions he does not know how to answer: “Why is this happening to us? What did we do?”, said Türk.

“Another Palestinian UN colleague in Gaza told me how she had to flee at 1am with her children to find shelter far from home, but that she always keeps her bags close as they may need to flee again at short notice. Her sister-in-law was killed yesterday, and close friends the day before. Water is scarce, and fear is pervasive,” he said.

“In just a short visit to El Arish Hospital in Rafah, Egypt, I saw many children injured in Gaza – a three-year-old boy with two broken legs, a five-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl with severe burns, an eight-year-old girl with spinal injuries, and others. These were the “lucky” children who suffered terribly but are still alive and receiving proper medical treatment,” Türk said.

Some 4,400 other children have been killed in Gaza in the past month, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Over 26,000 people have been injured – and cannot get medical care because of the collapsing health system in Gaza, or face being operated on without anaesthesia.

The High Commissioner said he had heard from Israeli human rights defenders, who were deeply distressed and outraged by the plight of civilians and by what this is doing to Israel. Palestinian human rights defenders also voiced their concerns to him concerns about double standards, emphasizing the failures by the international community to step up to their obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, and to use their influence to halt the unconscionable suffering of civilians in the midst of this madness.

“The atrocious attacks by Hamas against Israel on 7 October should outrage each and every one of us. There needs to be justice, accountability and remedy for the victims of these atrocious crimes. The hostages need to be brought back home and indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel needs to cease,” the UN Human Rights Chief said.

“But it is clear that enduring peace and security cannot be delivered by the exercise of fury and pain against people who have no responsibility for the crimes that were committed – including the 99 UNRWA staff members who have been killed. This is unprecedented, outrageous and deeply heartbreaking.”

The extensive Israeli bombardment of Gaza, including the use of high impact explosive weapons in densely populated areas, is clearly having a devastating humanitarian and human rights impact, he said. Israel must immediately end the use of such methods and means of warfare, and the attacks must be investigated.

The High Commissioner also highlighted the intense strikes on hospitals and in the vicinity of hospitals in Gaza city.

“Some hospitals, including Al Quds and Al Shifa hospitals have also received specific evacuation orders, in addition to the general evacuation orders to all of northern residents of Gaza. But such evacuation, as the World Health Organization has warned, is a “death sentence” in a context where the entire medical system is collapsing and hospitals in southern Gaza have no capacity to absorb more patients,” Türk said.

“Demands for civilians to relocate to an Israeli Defence Force designated “safe zone” are also very alarming. A so-called “safe zone,” when established unilaterally, can heighten risks to civilians, and raises real questions as to whether security can be guaranteed in practice. At the moment, nowhere in Gaza is safe, as bombardments are being reported in all parts of the Strip. It also needs to be absolutely clear that civilians are protected under international law wherever they are,” Türk stressed.

Türk called on the Israeli authorities to take immediate measures to ensure the protection of Palestinians in the West Bank, who are being subjected on a daily basis to violence from Israeli forces and settlers, ill treatment, arrests, evictions, intimidation and humiliation.

Since the beginning of October, at least 176 Palestinians, including 43 children and one woman have been killed – most by Israeli security forces, and at least eight of them by settlers. More than 2,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained in heavy-handed operations across the West Bank and we have documented disturbing cases of ill-treatment of those arrested and their families.

This year, Israeli forces have increasingly used military tactics and weapons in law enforcement operations. On Thursday, at least 14 Palestinians were killed by Israeli Forces in Jenin refugee camp. Law enforcement operations in the Occupied West Bank must be conducted in strict accordance with international human rights law.

There has also been a sharp increase in settler violence and takeover of land across the West Bank. Since 7 October, nearly 1,000 Palestinians from at least 15 herding communities have been forced from their homes. The displacement of these communities may amount to the forcible transfer of a population – which is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“I call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations as occupying power to protect the Palestinian population, to issue clear and unambiguous orders to security forces to ensure the protection of the Palestinian population against settler violence, and to hold to account those who fail to comply with such orders,” the High Commissioner said.

Türk highlighted how human rights defenders – and his Office – have been documenting for years rising human rights violations and persistent impunity.

“Rather than discrediting and penalizing human rights defenders – and the UN – for documenting violations, the authorities need to ensure accountability which is an essential step towards de-escalating tensions at this volatile time.
We have learned time and again, throughout history, that extremism only sows further extremism. Steps really must be taken to break this cycle of vengeance, death, grief and rage,” he said.

“Stop the violence. Guarantee the safety of humanitarian workers. Provide safe access to ensure humanitarian assistance to all those in need. Make sure people have enough to eat, clean water to drink, medical care and shelter. Free the hostages. Bring to justice – in line with human rights law – the perpetrators of serious violations,” Türk said.

“The solution to this situation is the end of the occupation, and full respect for the right to self-determination for Palestinians. As I have said time and again, for the violence to end, the occupation needs to end. Member States need to invest all the effort that is necessary into finding a sustainable peace for all Palestinians and Israelis,” he concluded.
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