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UN probe into Israeli ‘alleged violations’ to be led by former South African judge

July 23, 2021 at 1:01 pm

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay gives a press conference on December 2, 2013 at the United Nations offices in Geneva. [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images]

The President of the UN Human Rights Council, Shameem Khan, has announced the appointment of three members of the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, to investigate “alleged violations” in international humanitarian and human rights law since April.

The commission has been formed according to the Human Rights Council resolution dated 27 May. The resolution was issued at an emergency special session in response to the violence that saw scores of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces, including Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem.

The three members include former South African judge Navi Pillay, who was the UN High Commissioner for human rights between 2008 and 2014; she will lead the commission. The other members are India’s Miloon Kothari and Australian Chris Sidoti.

The commission will report on its main activities on an annual basis to the Human Rights Council. Its first report is scheduled to be presented at the council’s 50th session in June next year.

As per the resolution, the commission is tasked with probing “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”

Israel rejected the 27 May resolution. Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, described it as “anti-Semitic” and the commission as “outrageous”.

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