Israel and PA Failed To Prosecute War Crimes: UN

Aside from the siege, Israel's wars on Gaza caused widespread destruction, left thousands homeless. (Photo: File)

The UN high commissioner for human rights has accused Israeli and Palestinian authorities of failing to fully investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, in a new report released on Monday.

“Impunity for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been a long-standing concern articulated by the United Nations and civil society,” the report by High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein stated.

Recommendations made by the UN for the introduction of international human rights standards remain “largely unimplemented by Israel and by Palestinian authorities,” the paper went on to say.

More Palestinian civilians died as a result of the conflict with Israel in 2014 than in any year since 1967, according to a UN report from March 2015, which called for restraint on both sides. The latest UN report presented by the high commissioner noted that the Israeli accountability system “remains limited for violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” due to several shortcomings, including “physical, financial, legal and procedural barriers that restrict the ability of Palestinians, particularly those living in Gaza, to gain access to justice,” and the failure to investigate all allegations of human rights breaches.

It stressed that there had been a “general absence of higher-level responsibility” in Israel for violations in the 2008-09, 2012 and 2014 conflicts in Gaza, “with only a handful of convictions, if any, issued for minor violations, such as theft and looting.”

Zeid’s report also highlighted “Palestine’s non-compliance with the calls for accountability and urges the State of Palestine to conduct prompt, impartial and independent investigations of all alleged violations of international human rights law and all allegations of international crimes.”

Referring to the “prolonged occupation,” now in its 50th year, the report said such an occupation “cultivates a sense of hopelessness and frustration that drives continued conflict and impacts both Palestinians and Israelis.” The report also said that the number of Palestinians forcibly displaced from their homes reached a record high last year, affecting some 1,601 people, including 759 children.

(RT, PC, Social Media)

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