Former South Africa Judge to Lead Permanent UN Probe into Israeli Violations in Occupied Palestine

Former South African judge Navi Pillay was the UN High Commissioner for human rights between 2008 and 2014. (Photo: Courtesy Eric Bridiers, Wikimedia Commons)

The President of the UN Human Rights Council, Shameem Khan, has announced the appointment of three members of the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, to investigate “alleged violations” in international humanitarian and human rights law since April.

The commission has been formed according to the Human Rights Council resolution dated May 27.

The resolution was issued at an emergency special session in response to the Israeli violence that saw scores of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces throughout the occupied territories, including occupied East Jerusalem.

The three members include former South African judge Navi Pillay, who was the UN High Commissioner for human rights between 2008 and 2014. Pillay will lead the commission, while the other members are India’s Miloon Kothari and Australian Chris Sidoti.

The commission will report on its main activities on an annual basis to the Human Rights Council. Its first report is scheduled to be presented at the council’s 50th session in June next year.

As per the resolution, the commission is tasked with probing,

“all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”

Israel has expectedly rejected the May 27 resolution. Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, described it as “anti-Semitic” and the commission as “outrageous”.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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