The Israeli ambassador rebuts the United Nations Human Rights Chief’s claim that Israel “may” have committed war crimes.
When U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet requested that Israel accept an investigation into alleged war crimes, Israeli Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar fought back, according to the Associated Press.
Rockets are used indiscriminately by military and civilians, according to Bachelet, and their usage “constitutes a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.” She went on to declare that Hamas would be culpable as well, noting that “one party’s conduct do not exonerate the other from its responsibility under international law.”
Shahar’s response was that Hamas, a terrorist organization recognized by the US and its allies, had fired 4,400 rockets at Israeli citizens. “Each and every one of these rockets is a war crime.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Before a cease-fire last week, Bachelet recounted the Gaza Strip’s “most substantial escalation of hostilities since 2014,” which resulted in devastation and death.
At least 248 people were murdered in Gaza during the 11-day conflict, including 66 children and 39 women. In Israel, 12 individuals were killed, two of whom were children.
“Air strikes in such densely populated regions resulted in a significant number of civilian deaths and injuries, as well as massive civilian infrastructure destruction,” Bachelet added.
“Such assaults could be considered war crimes if they are indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians,” she added. Bachelet encouraged Israel to guarantee accountability in such circumstances, as required by international law, particularly by “impartial, independent reviews” of the escalation’s actions.
She also slammed Hamas’ tactics, such as stationing military equipment in heavily populated civilian neighborhoods and firing rockets from them.
She warned that until the violence’s “basic causes” are addressed, “it will only be a matter of time before the next round of violence begins with even more misery and suffering for people on both sides.”
Personal experiences from Palestinians — such as that of a young woman journalist from the Sheikh Jarrah area in east Jerusalem, an early flashpoint that sparked the violence — were heard alongside testimonies from the council’s 47 member nations and observer nations during the course of the day-long debate.
The Organization of Islamic Conference has presented a resolution that, if approved by the council, would authorize unprecedented levels of inspection. This is a condensed version of the information.