Israel’s cancellation of entry permits for Palestinians after a deadly attack in Tel Aviv may amount to collective punishment, which is banned under international law, the UN’s top human rights official said.
Israel defended its actions as “legitimate steps in order to defend its citizens from terrorists”.
The military on Thursday revoked permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank a day after a Palestinian gun attack killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned the attack, the largest loss of Israeli life in a single attack since the current surge in violence, spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.
However, he is deeply concerned about the revoking of permits “which may amount to prohibited collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time”, she told a news briefing.
Israel’s actions included the suspension of 204 work permits held by individuals in the extended families of the alleged attackers, she said, and security forces sealing off their hometown.
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