The UN expert on human rights in the Palestinian territories said Tuesday Israel's policies against their people amounted to a "crime against humanity." In a statement, Richard Falk called on the United Nations to make an "urgent effort" to "implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect' a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a Crime Against Humanity." He went on: "In a similar vein, it would seem mandatory for the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law." Falk said that "such a flurry of denunciations by normally cautious UN officials has not occurred on a global level since the heyday of South African apartheid", continuing: "And still Israel maintains its Gaza siege in its full fury, allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease."