What the UN said about war crimes in Gaza

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 11:47 am

Both Israel and the pro-independence group Hamas committed war crimes in the early stages of the ongoing war in Palestinian-besieged Gaza, the United Nations said in a report. At the same time, the organization also mentioned that Israel’s attack on Gaza has committed crimes against humanity. The reason given is that many civilians have been killed in Israeli attacks.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) released two reports on Wednesday (June 12) about the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 last year and Israel’s counterattack on Gaza.

The COI consists of three independent expert bodies. The issue of war crimes by Israel and Hamas has come up in that report.

Israel did not cooperate with the commission in this investigation. They also rejected the report as anti-Israel bias. Hamas has not commented on this.

On October 7, 1,200 people were killed in a surprise attack by Hamas in Israel. At this time, 250 people were taken hostage by Hamas members. In retaliation, Israel launched a massive attack on Gaza, claiming to eliminate Hamas. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 37,202 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have been killed by Israeli forces in more than 8 months of attacks. In addition, most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have become homeless. There is a dire humanitarian crisis.

The report will be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council meeting next week. Such investigative reports collected by the United Nations sometimes form the basis of war crimes trials. The issue of this UN report may become important for the International Criminal Court (ICC). Last month, the ICC issued arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense chief, as well as three Hamas leaders.

Various incidents have taken place from October 7 to December 31 in this COI report. The report is based on interviews with witnesses and victims, complaints, analysis of satellite images, medical reports and open data.

The report accused Hamas of “deliberately targeting civilians” and “assassination and deliberate killing”. In addition, they were accused of “torture, inhuman and cruel treatment” and indiscriminate rocket attacks on populated areas of Israel.

Referring to the October 7 surprise attack by Hamas in Israel, the report said bodies were desecrated by burning, mutilation and beheading. Apart from this, allegations of torture and sexual violence have been made on the corpse.

The list accuses Israel of war tactics such as starvation, murder or deliberate killing, deliberate attacks on civilians and their various facilities, forced displacement, sexual violence. In addition, the report said, Israel has collectively punished the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Attempts at a ceasefire

The US, Egypt and Qatar have long been trying to broker a ceasefire and hostage release. Hamas still has more than 100 hostages. Hamas gave an official response to the cease-fire agreement given by US President Joe Biden on May 31.

The Palestinian Authority said its “positive” response had opened a “wider path” to an agreement to end the eight-month war in the Valley. They want a ceasefire that would lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza.

Despite such a positive attitude from Hamas, analysts say that the future of the proposal is uncertain as neither the organization nor Israel has publicly committed to signing the agreement.

Last Tuesday, Hamas gave an official response to the Gaza ceasefire proposal announced by US President Joe Biden on May 31. However, Israel has said that this proposal is tantamount to rejection. Because a Hamas official said, the current plan does not reflect their long-standing demands.

Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said in a statement yesterday that Hamas’s response was “responsible, important and positive”. It opened ‘a wide path’ to the signing of a cease-fire agreement.

This reaction of Hamas is considered positive by the United States. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is visiting Qatar to discuss the next situation on the matter.

Israel continues to attack Gaza and Rafah amid ceasefire talks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said he will not stop operations until Hamas is eliminated.

Source: Reuters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *