The director of the New York office of the United Nations’ human rights agency has resigned, accusing the U.N. in a sharply worded letter of abandoning its own principles and international law, and of failing to stop Israel’s deadly bombardment of Gaza, which he called a “genocide.”
“I write at a moment of great anguish for the world, including for many of our colleagues,” Craig Mokhiber, a human rights lawyer, wrote in the letter dated Oct. 28. “Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it.”
Laura Gelbert Delgado, the spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights agency, put some distance between the agency and Mr. Mokhiber’s letter. “These are the personal views of a staff member who retires today,” she said on Tuesday.
But after the airstrike on the Jabaliya refugee camp on Tuesday, the chorus of protest grew still louder.
The camp is home to people who were displaced from what is now Israel in the 1940s and their descendants. While it is called a camp, the area is built up and densely populated, rather than a tent city. The camp covers an area of 1.4 square kilometers and is just to the north of Gaza City.
Jordan’s foreign ministry said it held Israel responsible for an “act that contradicts all human and moral values and the rules of international humanitarian law.” The foreign ministry of Egypt called the attack “inhumane” and a “blatant violation by Israeli forces of international law.”
Israel has defended not just its aerial and ground assaults on Gaza but also its tightening of the vise on supplies getting into the territory.
A spokesman for the Israeli military body that handles administrative aspects of the occupation, said in a statement on Tuesday that according to international law, Israel had “no obligation to provide goods and services to the terrorist organization Hamas — especially in cases where the enemy uses them for war purposes.”