United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has kicked off a two-day meeting to debate a report on Israel’s war crimes during the Gaza conflict.
On Thursday, most member states expressed their concerns about the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip, and chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the UN-ordered fact-finding mission into the December-January war in Gaza.
Jewish South African judge Richard Goldstone’s report was more critical of Israel than Hamas in committing war crimes in Gaza.
The report condemned Israel’s use of indiscriminate force against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip that resulted in the death of over 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and which wounded many more.
Supporting the recommendations of the report, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders should launch independent investigations of alleged war crimes in Gaza to help rebuild trust and support peace.
She told the 47-member body that impartial and prompt investigations into reported violations should be conducted. She said that although international law is being violated in the occupied territories, the transgressors were being left unpunished.
Israel has also limited access of Palestinians to their properties and holy sites and that Israel must stop excavation work around the Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as other Christian and Islamic holy sites, Pillay cited.
Israel, which came under intense pressure in a UN Security Council debate on Wednesday to fully investigate the allegations, said the meeting was politically-motivated.