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UN Commission Accuses Israel Of Committing ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Above photo: United Nations/X.

The UN commission accuses Israel of having committed crimes against humanity of extermination, murder, gender persecution, torture, and forcible transfer.

The United Nations’ Human Rights Council’s Independent Commission of Inquiry (COI) released its findings from Gaza on June 12, incriminating both the Israelis and Palestinian groups of having committed “war crimes” in Gaza during the ongoing war.

The report specifically accuses Israel of committing “crimes against humanity of extermination, murder, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys; forcible transfer; and torture and inhuman and cruel treatment,” and recommends accountability for such crimes.

Although the report claims that both sides indulged in indiscriminate killings and sexual violence, it states that Israel has launched “a widespread and systematic attack directed against the civilian population in Gaza” with the intent to cause maximum damage, “disregarding the principles of distinction, proportionality and adequate precaution.”

The 21-page report is based on an in-depth inquiry of the incidents between October 7 and December 31, 2023. The method of inquiry includes interviews with victims and witnesses, reports, medical reports, satellite imagery, verified open source information and others.

The report states that Israeli forces have committed forced starvation, murder or willful killing, collective punishment and intentional attacks on civilians during the war, even indicating that some of these acts are part of the Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) “operating procedure.”

There have been numerous reports and video evidence incriminating Israeli forces of attacking innocent civilians in Gaza, launching indiscriminate bombings on shelters and civilian homes, and even torturing people under arrest.

More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 85,000 others have been injured since October 7, with indiscriminate bombing and ground offensives launched by Israel, destroying most of the civilian infrastructure in Gaza and displacing almost the entire population of over 2 million.

Allegations Of Palestinian Groups Committing Rape Could Not Be Verified

Though the report admits there was “gender based violence” committed by the Palestinian groups during the October 7 attack on Israelis, the claims of sexual violence against women could not be independently verified due to Israeli non-cooperation and lack of access to the victims.

The commission noted that Hamas has strongly rejected all allegations of sexual violence during the attacks.

The report also accused the Palestinian groups of targeting children and women for abduction, underlining that such acts amounted to war crimes. Though initially Palestinian groups had taken nearly 240 hostages, mostly Israelis but some foreigners as well, most of them were released during the temporary ceasefire in November in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel. A large number of hostages have also reportedly been killed in Israeli bombings since then. There are nearly 70 hostages still remaining in Gaza held by Palestinian groups.

The report recommends the immediate cessation of all hostilities, the release of all hostages, and accountability for war crimes committed on both sides.

Israel has refused to cooperate with the commission of inquiry, calling it biased. Israel has often accused the head of the commission, Navi Pillay, of anti-semitism. On Wednesday, Israel rejected the findings of the report, reiterating its accusations of “systemic anti-Israeli discrimination” against the commission and Pillay.

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