U.N. Human Rights Chief Says Israel May Have Committed War Crimes in Gaza

HeadlineMay 28, 2021

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights says Israel may have committed war crimes during its 11-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip earlier this month. Michelle Bachelet said Thursday she had seen no evidence to back Israeli claims that civilian buildings in Gaza bombed by Israel were being used for military purposes.

Michelle Bachelet: “Airstrikes in such densely populated areas resulted in a high level of civilian fatalities and injuries, as well as the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure. Such strikes raise serious concerns of Israel’s compliance with the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law.”

High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet also said Hamas violated international law by firing rockets into Israel. Her comments came as the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to create a permanent Commission of Inquiry to monitor human rights abuses in Israel, Gaza and the occupied West Bank. Michael Lynk, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, testified to the council Thursday.

Michael Lynk: “What we have witnessed in Gaza in these past few weeks haunts the conscience of the world — approximately 242 Palestinians killed, the majority of whom are civilians and at least 63 of whom are children. Almost 2,000 were injured. There’s been massive property destruction.”

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