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Iran: Israel attacks guardians of humanity by targeting aid workers

Israeli soldiers walk at the Shifa Hospital complex in Gaza City, amid their ground operation against fighters from the Palestinian Hamas resistance group, in this still image from handout video obtained on November 15, 2023. (Photo via Reuters)

The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry has roundly denounced the Israeli military for targeting aid workers and medical staff in the Gaza Strip, stressing that such practice constitutes a flagrant example of war crime, and represents an attack on guardians of humanity.

“Aid workers are actually agents and servants of humanity, whose immunity in conflict zones has always been underlined by international regulations. Medical staffers are working to preserve human dignity and protect humanitarian rights," Nasser Kan’ani wrote in an opinion piece published in the official Iran daily newspaper on Saturday.

"It is clear that a direct attack on them is one of the most striking examples of a war crime recognized by the provisions of the International Criminal (ICC) Statute, and the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he added.

He categorically rejected the spurious Israeli allegations that Palestinian resistance groups are operating command centers and ammunition depots under hospitals in Gaza, stating that such baseless claims are meant to provide the Tel Aviv regime the plausible excuse to press ahead with its criminal acts in the enclave.

“This comes despite the fact that medical staff are not only immune from exposure during relief operations but also from any arbitrary detention, and preventing them from accessing patients and disrupting treatment also represent a war crime and can be prosecuted in international courts of law,” Kan’ani pointed out.

The senior Iranian diplomat also lamented the deafening silence of the so-called advocates of human rights at the time that Israeli authorities explicitly speak about ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of the residents of Gaza.

“The one-ton bomb dropped on al-Ahli Arab Hospital shook the foundations of the United Nations Charter, and unmasked the true nature of the so-called human rights advocates. Blatant violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip are happening miserably, and international institutions do not have the necessary authority to end such cruelty. 

“The UN Security Council, as one of the main executive pillars of this organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, has been practically immobilized by the veto of the United States and cannot prevent the prolongation of a human disaster!” Kan’ani argued.

The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry also highlighted that the performance of the Security Council clearly shows that some of its member states, led by the US, lack the willpower to stop the Gaza war, and are instead aggravating the suffering of more civilians and increasing the deal toll by means of their inaction.

He stated that Israel, under the patronage of the US and the European troika, Britain, France and Germany, is preventing humanitarian aid from donor countries to reach Gaza, and has created a deplorable situation in the besieged area. 

Many countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, have therefore not been able to send aid to Gaza. This is a clear sign that the cruel Israeli regime has not only waged an atrocious campaign against Palestinian lands, but has also breached upon all humanitarian principles and international regulations, Kan’ani emphasized.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the coastal enclave, including hospitals, residences, and houses of worship, since Palestinian resistance movements launched their surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the regime on October 7.

Nearly 12,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 4,710 children. More than 29,800 individuals have sustained injuries as well.

According to the Ministry of Health, 3,640 citizens are still missing or under the rubble, including 1,770 children.

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