The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) opened international investigations into Israel on Thursday, following allegations of war crimes against Palestinian civilians brought by Michelle Bachellete, the UN rights chief, at a special session of the UNHCR council. Prior to the probe, she warned that if Israel is found guilty of indiscriminately killing Palestinian people, it could face war crimes charges.
United Nations ‘lack of clear evidence’
According to UNHCR investigations, the structures targeted by Israel in Gaza were not housing any armed groups or being utilized for military purposes in any way, as the Israeli Defense Forces stated (IDF). The majority of them were discovered to be residential residences, medical institutions, and offices where media activities and services were conducted.
Bachellete also accused Hamas for failing to distinguish between military and civilian targets while firing missiles at Israel. The majority of the missiles were aimed toward residential homes, posing a threat to civilians; however, the Iron-dome technology used by the Israel Defense Forces was able to intercept the majority of them. The United Nations Council declared Hamas’ actions to be a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
United Nations Stats on the Israeli-Gaza attacks
Last month, the two sides agreed to a cease-fire, compelling them to stop attacking each other. 254 Palestinians were killed in Gaza as a result of Israel’s lethal air assaults. During the 11-day fight, 66 people died, including 66 children, and over 1,900 people were injured. Israel was not spared either; Hamas rockets fired from Gaza killed 12 Israelis, including one toddler and an Arab-Israeli adolescent. In Israel, 357 individuals were injured.
The United Nation Rights Council
During the special session, countries debated the importance of establishing a broad international probe into human rights violations in both Israel and Palestine. As a method of resolving the Middle East’s decades-long conflict, an unprecedented level of examination on the underlying cause of the war was advocated. The investigation should focus on gathering facts and evidence that could be utilized in legal processes, according to the United Nations council’s draft resolution plan. The original proposal also included recommendations for the formation of an independent international commission of inquiry.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nation
The Israeli envoy to the United Nations in Geneva criticized the UNHCR council’s choices at the special session, stating that they were biased against Israel. Meirav Eilon Shahar went on to say that Hamas is a terrorist organization that embraces killing and that the war and tensions were started by them. She cited the 4,400 rockets fired at Israel and encouraged the council not to sympathize with Hamas, arguing that Israel had the right to self-defense.
Palestinian representative to the United Nation
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki replied by accusing Israel of creating an apartheid system that increased tensions. Palestinians’ right to self-defense is linked to their right to occupation and land ownership, according to him. However, it is unclear whether the members of the council would vote to establish the Commission of Inquiry, which would be tasked with investigating the conflict’s causes and human rights breaches.