Israel may have committed war crimes in Gaza, says UN human rights chief

The Guardian reports: Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has warned that Israel may have committed war crimes in its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed in the past two weeks.

Pillay told an emergency debate at the UN human rights council (UNHRC) in Geneva that Israel had not done enough to protect civilians.

“There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes,” Pillay said, citing air strikes and the shelling of homes and hospitals. The killing of civilians in Gaza, including dozens of children, raised concerns over Israel’s precautions and its respect for proportionality, she said. [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “Israel may have committed war crimes in Gaza, says UN human rights chief

  1. Stan Squires

    I am from Vancouver,Canada and I wanted to say that Israel did commit war crimes against the people of Gaza. They have did this several times before.Why is the UN saying that Israel may have committed war crimes against the people of Gaza.That is an insult to the People living in Gaza.

  2. Paul Woodward

    Richard Falk writes: Ever since this latest Israeli major military operation against Gaza started on July 8, there have been frequent suggestions that Israel is guilty of war crimes, and that Palestine should do its best to activate the International Criminal Court (ICC) on its behalf. The evidence overwhelmingly supports basic Palestinian allegations—Israel is guilty either of aggression in violation of the UN Charter or is in flagrant violation of its obligations as the Occupying Power under the Geneva Convention to protect the civilian population of an Occupied People; Israel seems guilty of using excessive and disproportionate force against a defenseless society in the Gaza Strip; and Israel, among an array of other offenses, seems guilty of committing Crimes Against Humanity in the form of imposing an apartheid regime in the West Bank and through the transfer of population to an occupied territory as it has proceeded with its massive settlement project.

    Considering this background of apparent Israeli criminality, it would seem a no-brainer for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to seek the help of the ICC in waging its struggle to win over world public opinion to their struggle. After all, the Palestinians are without military or diplomatic capabilities to oppose Israel, and it is on law and global solidarity must rest their hopes for eventually realizing their rights, particularly the right of self-determination and the right of return. Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank are demanding that their leaders in the Palestinian Authority adhere to the Rome Statute, and become members of the ICC without further delay. It has become part of the message of Palestinian street politics that the Palestinians are being criminally victimized, and that the Palestinian Authority if it wants to retain the slightest shred of respect as representatives of the Palestinian people must join in this understanding of the Palestinian plight and stop ‘playing nice’ with Israeli authorities.

    Such reasoning from a Palestinian perspective is reinforced by the May 8th letter sent by 17 respected human rights NGOs to President Mahmoud Abbas urging Palestine to become a member of the ICC, and act to end Israel’s impunity. This was not a grandstanding gesture dreamed up on the irresponsible political margins of liberal Western society. Among the signatories were such human rights stalwarts as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Al Haq, and the International Commission of Jurists, entities known for their temporizing prudence in relation to the powers that be. [Continue reading…]

  3. 928081

    If Israel has committed war crimes what are we going do about the 1000s of North American and European volunteers who travel to Israel to help the IDF?

    Lots of talk about radicalised people returning from Syria, what about radicalised people returning from Israel who have assisted the IDF in this alleged war crime?

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