Former UN rights chief to lead investigation into Israel, Hamas alleged crimes

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Former UN human rights chief Navi Pillay will head an international commission of inquiry into alleged crimes committed during the latest conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza, the UN Human Rights Council said in a statement on Thursday.

The council agreed in late May to launch the investigation with a broad mandate to investigate all alleged violations not only in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, but also in Israel during hostilities halted by a ceasefire. from May 21.

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At least 250 Palestinians and 13 people in Israel were killed in the fierce fighting, in which Gaza militants fired rockets into Israeli towns and Israel launched airstrikes over the coastal enclave.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the council at the time that deadly Israeli attacks on Gaza could constitute war crimes and that Hamas had violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets at Israel.

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 who served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008-2014, will lead the three-member panel that also includes Indian expert Miloon Kothari and Australian expert Chris Sidoti, the statement said. Human Rights Council. .

The researchers, tasked with identifying those responsible for violations to ensure they are held accountable, will present their first report in June 2022.

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