Israeli strikes in Gaza may be war crimes: United Nations rights chief

  • Israeli strikes in Gaza may be war crimes: United Nations rights chief

Israeli strikes in Gaza may be war crimes: United Nations rights chief

"If found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects, such attacks may constitute war crimes", she warned.

Last week, Canada welcomed a ceasefire ending the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas that left hundreds of people dead.

Bachelet said her office had "not seen evidence" that the buildings targeted in Gaza, including medical facilities and media offices, were "hosting armed groups or being used for military purposes".

Calling the decision "shameful", Netanyahu said in a statement that "this is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council's blatant anti-Israel obsession".

This travesty makes a mockery of worldwide law, Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Thursday's resolution ordered the launching of an investigation into violations surrounding the latest violence, but also into "systematic" abuses spurring a repetitive cycle of violence over the decades.

Blinken met both Israeli and Palestinian leaders during two days of talks, throwing Washington's support behind the Egyptian-brokered truce that ended 11 days of heavy Israeli bombing of Gaza and rocket fire from the impoverished coastal enclave into Israel.

The draft resolution presented by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation calls for the council to "urgently establish an ongoing independent, global commission of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in Israel".

She cautioned that unless the "root causes" of the violence are addressed, "it will certainly be a matter of time until the next round of violence commences with further pain and suffering for civilians on all sides".

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed home from Jordan Thursday after a whistlestop Middle East tour on which he called for regional cooperation to consolidate a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants.

She urged countries not to back the resolution, which she said would "embolden and reward Hamas", a "racist, genocidal, terrorist organisation".

"This reality of apartheid and impunity can no longer be ignored", it added.

"You can not be pro-Palestinian if you do not condemn Hamas", she said, stressing Israel's right to defend itself. Twelve people in Israel were killed.

Other COIs, like the one on Syria, need their mandates renewed every year.

Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for Hamas, said the Islamist Palestinian group that controls Gaza "welcomes the decision of the Human Rights Council to form an global investigation committee into Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories".

It remains unclear if there will be enough support in the council to pass the resolution.

The remarks came as the UN's top human rights body opened a one-day special session to discuss the "the grave human rights situation" in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

It will be the ninth focused on Israel, which has long complained it faces bias in the council.