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UN: No proof Gaza buildings hit by Israel were military sites

May 28, 2021 at 9:39 am

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet gestures at a press conference on 9 December 2020 in Geneva. [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said yesterday that her organisation has not seen any evidence that the civilian buildings bombed by Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip had been used for military purposes.

Speaking during the opening of a special session of the UN Human Rights Council, called at the request of Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Palestine, Bachelet said the Israeli attacks raise serious concerns about Israel’s compliance with international law.

“If found disproportionate, such attacks might constitute war crimes,” she added in reference to Israel’s 11-day onslaught on the besieged enclave.

Last week, the  United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, criticised the Israeli bombing of Gaza saying the aggression has caused severe damage to vital civilian infrastructure in the Strip, including roads and power lines, which exacerbate the humanitarian crisis which residents are already suffering under.

At least 253 Palestinians were killed including 66 children and nearly 2,000 others were wounded during Israel’s aggression on Gaza from 10-21 May.

The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed to launch an international investigation into crimes committed during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

The vote passed of 24 states in favour, nine against, with 14 abstentions.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it would not cooperate with the probe, deeming it a bid to “whitewash crimes committed by the terror organisation Hamas”.

Welcoming the decision, Hamas urged “immediate steps to punish” Israel.

READ: Frustrated by its losses, Israel is once again striking Gaza’s residents