Strong possibility of war crimes in Gaza, says UN rights chief

Stop indiscriminate attacks on civilians, says human rights chief


GENEVA — The U.N.’s top human rights official demanded Wednesday that all sides in the two-week war in the Gaza Strip refrain from indiscriminate attacks on civilians, warning that violations may amount to war crimes.

The warning by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay came at a special meeting of the U.N.’s top human rights body, which voted 29-1 to authorize an international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged abuses since mid-June in the Gaza Strip.

Only the United States voted against the resolution championed by Arab nations. Another 17 of the Human Rights Council’s 47 member-states abstained.

Israel said that the council’s decision to investigate Israel’s role in the conflict sent a message to extremist groups around the world that using human shields — which it accuses Hamas of doing — was an “effective strategy.”

“The Human Rights Council must start to investigate Hamas’ decision to turn hospitals into command bases and schools into weapons warehouses and to place rocket batteries near playgrounds, private homes and mosques,” said a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office.

Of the more than 600 Palestinian deaths in the Gaza Strip reviewed by the United Nations, three-quarters were civilians, Pillay said. At least 147 were children and 74 women, she said.

According to the latest count more than 680 Palestinians and 31 Israelis — two of them civilians — have been killed during the conflict.

Pillay cited an Israeli drone missile strike in Gaza City that killed three children and wounded two others while they were playing on the roof of their home. She also made reference to an Israeli strike and naval shelling that struck seven children playing on Gaza beach, killing four from the same family.

“These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes,” Pillay told the rights council’s special session.

Israel launched its operation in Gaza on July 8 in response to heavy rocket fire out of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The fighting escalated last week with an Israeli ground offensive.

Pillay also warned that Hamas and others were violating international law.

“Israeli children, and their parents and other civilians, also have a right to live without the constant fear that a rocket fired from Gaza may land on their houses or their schools, killing or injuring them,” Pillay said.

“The principles of distinction and precaution are clearly not being observed during such indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups,” she added.

Pillay said not abiding by those principles could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Strong possibility of war crimes in Gaza, says UN rights chief

  1. UN needs to stop pandering to Islam dictator states, royalty states and dictators. You lob bombs at a nation, gives them a right to fight back, end of story. If Palestinians wanted peace, they would not be actively supporting Hamas. In fact, Hamas and Palestinians are one and the same. You be Palestinians vote, feed, sleep and raise Hamas.

    But hey, UN has been useless for a long time. I am still waiting for Moon to come clean on UNs Bosnia sex trade involvement that is so needed for justice. The reality is UN is just a large dysfunctional group of politics and consumption of other peoples money for such low value.

  2. This is all quite insane, The tragedy that befell the “accidental” and very stupid shooting down of M17 passenger plane is one thing.
    But israel has now bombed “Hospitals”, there has been twices as many innocent civilian deaths, due to the direct, and purposeful bombings done by Israel, than that Passenger jet over Ukraine.

    And yet, the great zion-state of America, (along with our very own Harpo and Baird), condones these war-crimes perpetrated by israel ?. The world stands by and does nothing.?

    Meanwhile, America desperately makes a BIG deal over the Ukrainian dillema, they practically want to invade Russia over this, but pays only sympathetic attention to the israeli war-crimes perpretators.
    I mean, huh ?!

    Anyone else see the total morally un-balanced insanity of all this ?

    • Yes, the whole thing is yet another Israeli-caused disaster, and morality doesn’t even come into it.

      Americans are not about to invade Russia tho. Russia has nukes. Americans only attack tiny places without them