Ex-UN chief of law leads investigation into Israeli, Palestinian abuses | Conflict news

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Navi Pillay will lead an investigation into ‘systematic’ abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.

Former UN chief of rights Navi Pillay will lead the UN’s open-ended investigation into “systematic” abuses in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, it has been announced.

The president of the UN Human Rights Council said on Thursday that Pillay would lead a three-man investigation designed to investigate abuses and their “root causes” in the decades-long conflict in the Middle East.

The probe is activated during a special council session focused on the increase in deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians in May.

A Commission of Inquiry (COI) is the highest-level investigation that may be ordered by the Human Rights Council.

The Geneva-based council held a special session on May 27.

It decided to establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate “all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and violations of international human rights law” in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including occupied East Jerusalem. .

The commission was tasked with investigating “all root causes of recurring tensions, instability and ongoing conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity”.

Commissioners were tasked with finding out the facts and circumstances surrounding violations and identifying those responsible “to ensure that perpetrators of violations are held accountable”.

While the council has previously ordered eight investigations into human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, this is the first with a mandate to investigate “root causes” and investigate systematic violations.

The COI will report annually to the Human Rights Council from June 2022.

This committee is the first-ever open-ended COI — others, such as the one on Syria, must renew their mandates every year.

The news follows a ceasefire announced on May 21 after at least 250 Palestinians and 13 people in Israel were killed in fierce fighting, in which Israel launched airstrikes on the besieged enclave and Palestinian fighters in Gaza fired rockets at Israeli towns.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the council at the time that deadly Israeli attacks on Gaza could be war crimes and that Hamas – the Palestinian group that rules Gaza – had violated international humanitarian law by launching rockets at Israel. fire.

Israel rejected the resolution passed by the Geneva Forum at an emergency special session and said it would not cooperate.

Pillay, a former South African judge, served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014.

She will be joined by India’s Miloon Kothari, the first UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, and Australian international human rights expert Chris Sidoti.


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