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U.N. Inquiry on Gaza Finds Israel Committed War Crimes Including Starvation, Torture and Murder

HeadlineJun 12, 2024

A new report by a U.N. independent human rights body finds both Israel and Palestinian armed groups have committed war crimes since Hamas’s surprise attack on October 7. The damning U.N. report accuses Israel of using starvation as a method of warfare, forcible transfer and intentionally directing attacks against civilians. It calls on Israeli leaders to immediately end attacks resulting in the killing and maiming of civilians in Gaza, to end the siege, to implement a ceasefire and to pay reparations. The report also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.

On Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin congratulated Israel’s military chief over Saturday’s raid on the Nuseirat refugee camp, which freed four Israeli hostages. His call to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant came as the United Nations’ top human rights office said Israel likely committed war crimes during the operation, which killed at least 274 Palestinians. Sixty-four children were among the dead; nearly 700 others were wounded.

Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Israel’s actions had left human rights workers “deeply shocked.”

Jeremy Laurence: “Hundreds of Palestinians, many of them civilians, were reportedly killed and injured. The manner in which the raid was conducted in such a densely populated area seriously calls into question whether the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, as set out under the laws of war, were respected by the Israeli forces.”

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