UN agency ‘deeply shocked’ by deaths during hostage rescue in Gaza


The UN Human Rights Office has said war crimes may have been committed in connection with the Israeli hostage rescue in the Gaza Strip last weekend, partly due to the high number of casualties on the Palestinian side.

“We are deeply shocked by the impact on civilians of the Israeli Defense Forces operation in An Nuseirat last weekend to secure the release of four hostages,” the Geneva office said, questioning whether the principles of international humanitarian law were complied with.

The way the mission was carried out was “catastrophic… because civilians were caught in the middle of it,” agency spokesman Jeremy Laurence said.

War crimes may also have been committed on the Palestinian side, he said. This includes the detention of hostages in a densely populated area, which in the event of a conflict endangers both the hostages and the lives of Palestinian civilians.

More than 270 people were killed in the Nuseirat refugee camp on Saturday during the operation to free four Israeli hostages, according to the Islamist Hamas-controlled health authority.

The hostages were kidnapped from Israel during the terrorist attack on October 7.

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