The U.N.’s top rights official condemns the ‘brutality’ of Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

The top human rights official at the United Nations condemned Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in an especially forceful statement on Thursday and warned that an assault on Rafah would add a new level of horror to the war.

The terror attacks by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups on Oct. 7 were “appalling and entirely wrong,” said Volker Türk, the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights. But, he added, “so is the brutality of the Israeli response.”

He laid out the toll of its military campaign: what the United Nations estimates is 100,000 dead, injured or missing Palestinians, amounting to one in 20 of Gaza’s people; the unprecedented number of deaths of U.N. employees and journalists; some 17,000 Palestinian children orphaned or separated from their families.

“There appear to be no bounds to, no words to capture, the horrors that are unfolding before our eyes in Gaza,” he said in an address to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. “This is carnage.”

Mr. Türk was opening a council discussion of a report by his office on developments in Gaza and the West Bank, highlighting the human and physical devastation of the war in Gaza and the “profoundly discriminatory systems of control” and “endless humiliation” of Israel’s policies in occupied territories.

His statement drew a rebuke from Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, who condemned it as “an affront” to the victims of the Oct. 7 attack.

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