The UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories has said Israel's policies there amount to a crime against humanity.Read the entire article here >
Richard Falk's statement came as UN human rights delegates urged Israel to take nearly 100 measures including ending its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
He said the UN must act to protect the Palestinian population suffering what he called "collective punishment".Israel says the blockade is a necessary security measure to stem rocket salvos.
In his statement, Mr Falk called on the United Nations to make an "urgent effort" to "implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a Crime Against Humanity".
He said the International Criminal Court should also investigate whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.
The last time there had been "such a flurry of denunciations by normally cautious UN officials" it was during the heyday of the apartheid government in South Africa, Mr Falk said.
"And still Israel maintains its Gaza siege in its full fury, allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease," Mr Falk said.
Israel allowed dozens of trucks filled with humanitarian supplies into Gaza on Tuesday, the fifth such shipment permitted to enter the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory in the past month.
Read Richard Falk's entire statement here >