Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, who has served as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 20 years, has condemned Israel for bombing Gaza.
On Wednesday, she posted a statement on Instagram calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, noting that the densely populated Palestinian enclave was “becoming a mass grave.”
The Hollywood star described Israel’s actions as “the deliberate bombing of a trapped population who have nowhere to flee,” adding that Gaza “has been an open-air prison for nearly two decades.”
Jolie noted that “millions of Palestinian civilians – children, women, families – are being collectively punished and dehumanized,” and accused world leaders of “complicity in these crimes” by refusing to call for a ceasefire.
It comes after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attacked apartment blocks in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza on Wednesday and Thursday. The total number of dead, wounded and missing following the attack has reached 1,000, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
IDF international spokesman Jonathan Conricus said on Thursday that the camp is “a Hamas stronghold full of terrorists.” The official claimed that the settlement was “the permanent residence of Palestinians” and “there are no refugees there,” noting that Israel had warned Jabalia residents two weeks ago to evacuate south.
Commenting on the IDF strike, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said on Wednesday that “the fighting has entered an even more terrifying phase.”
He said the families of hostages held by Hamas after the surprise attack on Israel “continue to live in anguish, unsure about the fate, wellbeing and whereabouts of their loved ones,” while civilians in Gaza “have lost all faith in humanity and all hope of a future,” calling on both sides of the conflict to agree a pause.
Referring to the beginning of the current escalation in the conflict, Jolie also posted a statement on Instagram on Monday, saying that Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 was “an act of terror” that nevertheless “cannot justify the innocent lives lost in the bombing of a civilian population.”
The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. In response, Israel declared war and began striking Gaza, killing more than 9,000 Palestinians, including more than 3,000 children, according to the enclave’s health authorities.