UN says “very disturbed” by Israeli calls for people of Gaza to migrate

UN human rights chief Volker Turk said today he was “very disturbed” against the backdrop of comments by senior Israeli officials calling for Palestinians to leave Gaza.

In a tweet on X he wrote: “Very disturbed by high-level Israeli officials’ statements on plans to transfer civilians from #Gaza to third countries. 85 percent of people in Gaza are already internally displaced. They have the right to return to their homes.”

He added that “international law prohibits forcible transfer of protected persons within or deportation from occupied territory.”

Earlier this week, Israel’s ultranationalist National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called for promoting “a solution to encourage the emigration of Gaza’s residents” and the re-establishment of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.

His comments came the day after far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich also called for the return of settlers to Gaza, adding that Israel should “encourage” the territory’s approximately 2.4 million Palestinians to leave.

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