UN report finds Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes

UN report finds 'serious violations' by both Palestinians and Israelis during 2014 attack on Gaza

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A United Nations investigation has found “serious violations of international humanitarian law” that “may amount to war crimes” by both Israeli and Palestinian resistance Hamas in the blockaded Gaza Strip during the brutal 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza.

The report that was released on Monday, accused Hamas of having an “inherently indiscriminate nature” for the rockets and mortars fired beyond the Israeli border by the Palestinian resistance, and condemned the execution of suspected collaborators, and said Palestinian authorities “have consistently failed” to bring violators of international law to justice.

The UN report also condemned Israel’s restrictions on Gaza residents’ travel and trade, saying “the blockade and the military operation have led to a protection crisis and chronic, widespread and systematic violations of human rights.”

“Comprehensive and effective accountability mechanisms for violations allegedly committed by Israel or Palestinian actors will be a key deciding factor of whether Palestinians or Israelis are to be spared yet another round of hostilities and spikes in violations of international law,” the report says.

Israel has rejected the report, saying it reached an unacceptable advance in its convictions and refused to cooperate with the international team.

The Israeli attack on Gaza  lasted for 50 days in the months of July and August 2014 and ended in a truce between the two sides.

The commission says that “the scale of the devastation was unprecedented” in Gaza, where it counts 2,251 Palestinian deaths and 18,000 homes destroyed, and also cites “immense distress and disruption to the lives of Israeli civilians,” along with $25 million in civilian property damage.

The investigation of war crimes in Gaza, which was supervised by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, had been subjected to clamor and controversy since its release.

The head of the investigation committee, William Schabas, had resigned before the end of the investigation after Israel accused him of being biased against them and that he had previously worked for the benefit of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

TRTWorld and agencies