"Israel's refusal to allow civilians any exit route from Gaza as its defence forces rained bombs down on schools and houses appears unprecedented in modern warfare, a United Nations investigator has said.
Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, described the sealing off of the Gaza Strip in order to ensure that nobody could flee it as 'a distinct, new and sinister war crime.'
'For the first time in a military operation, the civilian population as a whole has been locked into a war zone,' he told a meeting of the European Parliament by telephone. 'No children, women, sick people or disabled people were allowed to leave. For the first time, the option of becoming a refugee has been withheld.'"
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