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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/29/21

UN Human Rights Council to probe Israel-Gaza conflict as potential 'war crimes'

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The U.N. Human Right Council has passed a resolution aimed to intensify scrutiny of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, after the U.N. rights chief said Israeli forces may have committed war crimes in their war with Hamas.

The 11-day conflict killed at least 248 in Gaza, including 66 children and 39 women. In Israel, 12 people also died, including two children, before both sides agreed to a ceasefire.

The 24-9 vote, with 14 abstentions, capped a special Human Rights Council session on the rights situation faced by Palestinians.

The resolution was presented by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and debated during a special one-day council session focused on the surge in deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians earlier this month.

The resolution, which was denounced by Israel, calls for the creation of a permanent "Commission of Inquiry" the most potent tool at the council's disposal to monitor and report on rights violations in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, according to AP.

The commission is also to investigate "all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict" including discrimination and repression, according to the text..

The resolution also calls on states to refrain from "transferring arms" when they asses "a clear risk" that such weapons might be used to commit serious violations of human rights or humanitarian law. That appeared aimed to countries that ship weapons to Israel, according to AP.

After the vote, the U.S. mission in Geneva said the United States "deeply regrets" the move to create an "open-ended" Commission of Inquiry. It said some unspecified member states of the council "have chosen to engage in a distraction that adds nothing to ongoing diplomatic and humanitarian efforts" in the region.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet

Addressing the Council meeting in Geneva, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, called on Thursday for a "genuine and inclusive peace process" to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a repeat of recent deadly clashes that have been marked by possible war crimes by Israeli security forces.

Ms. Bachelet condemned indiscriminate rocket attacks by Gaza's de facto authority Hamas, which claimed 10 lives in Israel, and strikes inside the enclave by Israeli Security Forces that left 242 dead.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights also welcomed the 21 May ceasefire but warned that it was only "a matter of time" until the next flare-up, unless the root causes of this latest escalation were addressed.

Addressing the issue of possible war crimes, Ms. Bachelet reminded the Council's 47 Member States that Israeli airstrikes in densely populated areas had "resulted in a high level of civilian fatalities and injuries as well as the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure".

Such attacks may constitute war crimes 'if found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects", the High Commissioner explained via video link.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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