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U.N. Accuses Israel of Systematically Violating the Laws of War in Gaza

HeadlineJun 20, 2024

The U.N. Human Rights Office has accused Israel of systematically violating the laws of war by using heavy bombs to destroy civilian infrastructure in densely populated areas of Gaza. In a new report, the U.N. office examined six Israeli attacks that targeted residential buildings, a school, refugee camps and a market. The U.N. verified at least 218 deaths in those six attacks.

Meanwhile, Navi Pillay, the chair of a separate U.N. inquiry into the war, testified before the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Navi Pillay: “Israeli authorities are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including extermination, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, murder or willful killing, using starvation as a method of war, forcible transfer, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture, and cruel or inhuman treatment.”

During her testimony, the U.N.'s Navi Pillay also accused Hamas and Islamic Jihad of committing war crimes. The U.N.'s findings are being shared with the International Criminal Court. This comes as the official death toll in Gaza has topped 37,400. On Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike killed nine Palestinians as they waited for aid trucks at the Kerem Shalom crossing. At least eight more Palestinians were killed in Rafah. Meanwhile, officials in Gaza say Israel has destroyed the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing which connects Gaza to Egypt. The crossing has been closed since Israel seized the area in early May. 

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