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UN expert: Palestinian population in Gaza being ‘wiped off’

GAZA, (The Palestine Information Centre)A significant part of Gaza’s population is being “wiped off,” the UN rapporteur for Palestinian territories said Thursday, as the blockaded city continues to face intense Israeli strikes and shelling.

“What’s happening is that a significant part of the Palestinian population in Gaza is being wiped off. Not differently from what has happened before … but with increased ferocity,” Francesca Albanese, the UN’s special rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said in press statements.

Albanese also commented on a decision by Israel earlier this week to cut off Gaza’s supply of water, electricity, food, and other basic facilities, underlining that starving a besieged population and depriving them of essentials was a war crime.

“If it’s intentional and, in the context of a widespread and systemic attack against a civilian population, it also constitutes a crime against humanity,” she added.

Albanese highlighted the overwhelmed state of hospitals in Gaza still functioning under the Israeli bombardment, saying that they had reached maximum capacity.

“There are patients sharing the same bed, patients lying on the ground, and there are no medicines,” she said.

At the moment, there is “no possibility of anything entering Gaza,” according to Albanese, who said the enclave is “under total siege.”

Describing the situation as catastrophic, she said there were people on the ground in the city, running with dead or wounded in their arms, trying to find shelter, of which there is none in the city.

Throughout the fighting, now in its fifth day, Albanese said, “every rule of international humanitarian law had been broken.”

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