Israel has cut off all essential supplies to the Gaza Strip, sparking outrage from the United Nations and human rights groups.
The move came after a massive Hamas attack that killed about 900 people in Israel.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said that Israel was violating international humanitarian law by depriving Gaza’s 2.3 million residents of food, water, electricity and fuel.
He said, “The imposition of sieges that endanger the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential for their survival is prohibited under international humanitarian law.
“Any restrictions on the movement of people and goods to implement a siege must be justified by military necessity or may otherwise amount to collective punishment.”
Israel said it was imposing a “complete siege” on the Palestinian territory to retaliate against Hamas for Saturday’s surprise attack, which involved more than 1,100 militants. Israel’s security cabinet declared a state of war and authorised “significant military steps” to destroy Hamas’ ability to govern.
Hundreds of people have been killed in Gaza in Israeli air strikes, while Palestinian militants have continued firing rockets at Israeli cities.
The UN has called for urgent humanitarian access to Gaza and an end to the hostilities.