UN report: ‘War crimes by both sides’ in Gaza: Israel Palestine Conflict

Published: June 23, 2015

UN report: ‘War crimes by both sides’ in Gaza: Israel Palestine Conflict, Both Israelis and Palestinians may have committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war, a United Nations Human Rights Council commission of inquiry said in a highly anticipated 200-page report it published in Geneva on Monday.

“The commission was able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups,” the report said.

“In some cases, these violations may amount to war crimes,” it said.

The report called for individual IDF soldiers, as well as top decision makers in Israel’s military and political echelons, to be held accountable if they violated international law.

But the problem could extend to the IDF itself, the report said.

“In many cases, individual soldiers may have been following agreed military policy, but it may be that the aggression against Gaza and Israel?s commission of war crimes. This requires bringing leaders of the occupation before the International Criminal Court.” The UNHRC report, which will be debated in Geneva on June 29, is the second such document to completed.

In the aftermath of Israel’s military action in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, the UNHRC dispatched a fact-finding mission led by South African Jurist Richard Goldstone.

That report, submitted in September 2009, similarly concluded that both Israel and armed Palestinian groups had committed possible war crimes. But the report, which received a lot of publicity, did not lead to any concrete action because the Palestinians at that time, did not have the ability to appeal to the ICC.

In 2011 Goldstone repudiated his own report, stating with regard to IDF actions that, “Civilians were not intentionally targeted” and “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document”

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