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Gaza: Hamas, Israel commit war crimes, declare independence probe

This is the one conclusions stated in the report Later Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem and Israelreleased on Wednesday.

“Amid months of loss and despair, reprisals and atrocities, the only tangible result has been to add to the enormous suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis, and civilians,” the committee said. , once again, must bear the brunt of the decisions of those in power.” impact on women and children.

The turning point is clear

Hamas’s brutal October 7 attack on communities in southern Israel marked a “clear turning point” for both Israelis and Palestinians, and represented a “watershed moment ” could change the direction of the conflict, with a real risk of further consolidation and expansion. The committee said the occupation.

For Israelis, the attack was unprecedented in scale in the country’s modern history, as hundreds of people were killed and kidnapped in just one day, causing the painful trauma of repression during the past. not only for Jews in Israel but for Jews everywhere.

For Palestinians, Israel’s military operation and attack in Gaza is the longest, largest and bloodiest attack since 1948, causing enormous damage and loss of many lives, while causing gave many Palestinians painful memories of the war. Nakba and other Israeli invasions.

End the cycle of recurring violence

The Committee emphasized that both the attack in Israel and Israel’s subsequent military operation in Gaza should not be viewed in isolation.

“The only way to prevent recurring cycles of violence, including aggression and retaliation by both sides, is to ensure strict compliance with international law,” it emphasized.

“That includes ending Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory; discrimination, oppression and denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, while ensuring peace and security for Jews and Palestinians.”

Intentional target of Hamas

The Committee further noted that in connection with the 7 October attacks in Israel, members of the military faction of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, as well as Palestinian civilians directly participating in the hostilities, deliberately killing, wounding, maltreating, taking hostages, and committing sexual and gender-based acts against civilians, including Israeli citizens and foreigners.

Such actions were also carried out against members of the Israeli Security Forces (ISF), including soldiers considered cavalry – such as wounded soldiers.

“These actions constitute war crimes, violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” the statement stated.

The Commission also identified patterns indicating sexual violence in several locations and concluded that Israeli women were the subjects of these crimes.

Failure to protect civilians

It also noted that Israeli authorities “failed to protect civilians in southern Israel on almost every front,” including failing to quickly deploy enough security forces to protect civilians and evacuate them. from civilian locations on October 7.

In several locations, the ISF applied the so-called ‘Hannibal Directive’ and killed at least 14 Israeli civilians. That directive was said to be a procedure aimed at preventing enemy forces from capturing ISF members and was believed to have targeted Israeli civilians on October 7.

The committee added: “The Israeli authorities also failed to ensure that forensic evidence was systematically collected by relevant authorities and first responders, particularly in relation to allegations of violence. sexual violence, weakening the possibility of future judicial proceedings, accountability and justice.”

The Israeli army violated

Independent commission established by the United Nations Eastern Human Rights Associationalso concluded that, in connection with Israel’s military activities in Gaza, Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

The Commission further concluded that the large number of civilian casualties and widespread destruction of civilian objects and vital civilian infrastructure were “the inevitable result of the strategy of use of force by Israel.” choices” in these wars, are made with the intention of inflicting maximum damage, regardless of differences. , proportionality and appropriate precautions, and is therefore illegal.

“ISF’s deliberate use of devastating heavy weapons in populated areas constitutes a deliberate and direct attack on civilians, affecting women in particular,” the committee said. women and children”. , for weeks and months with “no change in Israeli military strategy or policy.”


Among its recommendations, the Commission’s report calls on the Government of Israel to immediately end attacks that have resulted in the killing and maiming of civilians in Gaza, end the siege of Gaza, and implement ceasefire, ensuring that those whose property was illegally destroyed will receive compensation, and ensuring that necessities for the health and well-being of the people will immediately reach those who people in need.

It also calls on the Government of the State of Palestine and the de facto authorities in Gaza to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held in the area; ensure their protection, including against sexual and gender-based violence; report on their health and wellbeing; allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit and communicate with families and provide medical care, while ensuring their treatment complies with international humanitarian and human rights law.

“Stop all acts of indiscriminate firing of rockets, mortars and other ammunition at civilians,” the statement added.

Israel denies the findings

After the release of the report, Israel rejected the independent Commission’s conclusions.

In a press release, the country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva reiterated accusations of “systematic anti-Israel discrimination,” political bias and the creation of “ false equivalence” between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militants.

About the Investigation Committee

The Commission required used to be establish by the United Nations Human Rights Council to, among other points, investigate, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and abuses international human rights law as of April 13, 2021.

Its report will be presented at the 56th session of the Human Rights Council on 19 June 2024 in Geneva. The report is accompanied by two documents providing the findings October 7 attack in Israeland about Israel’s military activities and attack Gaza until the end of 2023.

Its members are not employees of the United Nations and do not receive salaries.


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