The United Nations human rights chief says significant evidence indicates that Israeli forces committed serious crimes against Palestinians during the 22-day war against Gaza.
A report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said rights violations committed during the Israeli war on Gaza included arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, extrajudicial execution, forced eviction and home demolition, settlement expansion and related violence and restrictions on freedom of movement and expression, Haaretz reported Saturday.
"Significant prima facie evidence indicates that serious violations of international humanitarian law as well as gross human rights violations occurred during the military operations of 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009," said Pillay.
The 34-page report is one of the two reports — together with a forthcoming one by South African jurist Richard Goldstone who has been conducting hearings in Gaza — that will be presented to the council next month.
Based on the report, Pillay called on Israel to tackle impunity for violations and curb its use of the military justice system, which does not meet international standards.
She also urged Tel Aviv to lift the blockade of Gaza and restrictions on the strip.
Pillay harshly criticized Israel for the violations "compounded by the blockade that the population of Gaza endured in the months prior to Operation Cast Lead and which continues."
Some 1,400 Palestinians, including more than 900 civilians, were killed during the Israeli war on Gaza, according to Gaza health officials and human rights groups.