Ukrainian official: Israel violating international law


KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — A Ukrainian ombudsman has accused Israel of violating international law.

The Ukrainian parliament’s commissioner for human rights, Nina Karpachova, accused the Israel Defense Forces of perpetrating the “mass death of civilians" in Gaza, which “testifies to neglect of the principles of international humanitarian law,” according to the statement issued Tuesday by Ukrinform, the Ukrainian central state news agency.

“The conflict parties in the Gaza Strip strongly violate fundamental standards of  international law, first and foremost the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War," Karpachova said.

Karpachova expressed her "sincere condolences" to those who have lost family in the conflict and called on Israel to “cease bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, strongly observe the basic principles of international law and respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms, and immediately return to negotiations.”

According to the Ukrainian ombudsman, the Gaza Strip, where “during many years 1.5 million Palestinians have had no peaceful life and justice,” is suffering a “humanitarian catastrophe.” 

Approximately 400 Ukrainian citizens live in Gaza, according to the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel, Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman Vasyl Kyrylych reported.

Kyrylych said that as of Tuesday, 65 Ukrainian citizens had asked to be evacuated from the conflict zone, including 22 adults and 43 children. The embassy is exploring the evacuation with the help of local Israeli authorities, the press secretary said.

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