Human Rights Council – Special session to address the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem
INEW statement on the use of explosive weapons, delivered by Laura Boillot
27 May 2021
I am speaking on behalf of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW). Airstrikes, artillery shelling and the use of missiles in the Gaza strip – a densely populated area, as well as use of rockets into towns in Israel, has inflicted devastation and suffering on the civilian
population. As a direct result, more than 220 civilians have been killed in the Gaza strip and others have suffered serious and life-changing injuries and trauma from the terrifying experience of living under bombing.
Civilians have been, and continue to be, severely impacted from the damage and destruction of housing, and vital infrastructure, including hospitals – especially at a time when access to medical treatment is urgently needed, as well as from the disruption to power supplies, communications networks, water and sanitation pipelines, and other essential services. INEW is particularly concerned over the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas. Such systems are inappropriate for use in towns and cities where the wider area is
likely to contain civilians and due to the significant risk of harm.
The widespread bombing and shelling in the Gaza strip highlights the need for new international standards. INEW calls upon states to develop a political declaration that commits states to avoid use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.
For INEW’s statement on the situation in Gaza, see: https://www.inew.org/the-use-of-heavy-explosive-weapons-in-gaza-and-israel-must-stop/
Image: Palestinians gather around a building after it was bombed by an Israeli aircraft, in Gaza City August 9, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem