A UN Fact-finding Committee has arrived in the Gaza strip to investigate violations committed during Israel’s offensive on the territory earlier this year.
The United Nations committee arrived in the Gaza Strip on Friday evening through the Rafah border terminal with Egypt, and would be holding hearing sessions with the residents and the victims of Israel’s war on Gaza.
Israeli authorities are refusing to allow investigators access through southern Israel. Public hearing sessions would be held on Sunday and Monday in Gaza City and on Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
The sessions are meant to collect testimonies and information and would give the victims and international experts a chance to present their testimonies to the international community.
Earlier this month, Israel refused to cooperate with an investigation committee from the UN, led by Richard Goldstone, after the group probed the devastating effects of Israel’s blitz on the blockaded Gaza Strip during their visit to the territory.
On June 5th in a meeting between Hamas Premier Ismail Haniya and Goldstone in Gaza, Haniya said that Israel is not only blocking humanitarian aid, but is also shelling civilian areas, killing women and children.
Tel Aviv launched its military onslaught against on Gaza’s 1.5 million besieged Palestinian residents on December 27. The ensuing three weeks of air and artillery bombardments and a ground incursion left nearly 1,350 Palestinians dead, and nearly 5,450 injured. At least 1,100 of the dead were civilians.
Israel has been accused internationally of committing war crimes.
The war crimes include the use of deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas and the use of civilians as human shields. These incendiary shells cause horrific burns and poisoning and their use against human targets is prohibited.
Israel initially denied using the weapon containing phosphorus, however, indisputable evidence (shown globally on video feed) proved that such shells were used widely and Israeli officials were forced to admit having employed the shells against the hapless Gazans.