UN Calls Out Potential War Crimes In Both Israel And Gaza

It claimed there was "already clear evidence" of illegal acts from both parties.
Hamas' attack on Israel (L), and Israel's attack on Gaza (R)
Hamas' attack on Israel (L), and Israel's attack on Gaza (R)

The United Nations’ Human Rights Council has just announced that there is “already clear evidence” that war crimes may have been committed in both Israel and Gaza.

The militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday in the most deadly day in the state’s history, while also taking hostages.

Tel Aviv then announced it was at war with Hamas, and launched the worst air attack in its 75-year history with the Palestinians.

More than 770 Palestinian have been killed by the subsequent strikes from the Israeli side so far, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, while More than 900 Israelis are said to have died in the conflict so far.

Israel has also announced a complete siege of Gaza, and has called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists. It may be planning a ground assault.

Meanwhile, Hamas warned residents of the Israeli city of Ashkelon to leave by 5pm local time on Tuesday, because it planned to attack – once the deadline passed, the militants launched a series of strikes with rocket fire on the city.

The militants also claimed they would execute an Israeli captive for every civilian home bombed without warning.

Israeli shelling on Lebanon killed at least three Hezbollah militants, according to the group.

The BBC has reported that citizens from Thailand, Argentina, the US and the UK are missing or feared dead following the days of violence.

On Tuesday – three days after Hamas’ attack – the UN’s independent international commission of inquiry on the occupied Palestinian Territory, said: “There is already clear evidence that war crimes may have been committed in Israel and Gaza, and all those targeting civilians must be held accountable.”

The comission said it had been collecting and preserving evidence of war crimes from all sides since October 7, when Hamas launched its attack.

The UN slammed claims of Hamas’ actions, saying: “Reports that armed groups from Gaza have gunned down hundreds of unarmed civilians are abhorrent and cannot be tolerated. Taking civilian hostages and using civilians as human shields are war crimes.”

It also said it was “gravely concerned with Israel’s latest attack on Gaza and Israel’s announcement of a complete siege”, pointing out that it will “undoubtedly cost civilian lives and constitutes collective punishment”.

It added: “The Commission is intent on ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility.”

The UN said the authorities will continue sharing information with the International Criminal Court, where the Office of Prosecution has already commenced an investigation on the situation since 2021.

In its update, the UN said: “The Commission is deeply distressed by the mounting violence, and spiralling death toll and underscores the urgency for the parties involved to cease all forms of violence and ensure that civilians are protected.”

The UN urged both sides to “adhere strictly to international humanitarian law and international human rights law”, called for Hamas’ hostages to be released and for the end of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.


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