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UN Rights chief deplores 'entrenched impunity' in Israel-Palestine war

February 23, 2024 at 3:08 pm

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk leaves a press conference in Geneva, on December 6, 2023 [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Nations Human Rights chief said, on Friday, that perpetrators of gross human rights violations in the conflict between Israel and Palestine must be held accountable, Reuters reports.

“The entrenched impunity that OHCHR (the UN rights agency) has reported on for many years cannot persist,” High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, said in a report on the situation in Gaza and in the Israeli-Occupied West Bank.

He said that this impunity had contributed to violations that could amount to international crimes.

Turk urged all parties to the conflict to “put an end to impunity and conduct prompt, independent, impartial, thorough, effective and transparent investigations” into alleged crimes under international law.

He also called on them to implement a ceasefire on human rights and humanitarian grounds, to ensure full respect for international law, and to ensure accountability for violations and abuses.

Last month, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians and do more to help civilians, although it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire as requested by South Africa, which was the plaintiff in the case.

In separate proceedings, South Africa, on Tuesday, urged the Court to issue a non-binding legal opinion that the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories is illegal, arguing it would help efforts to reach a settlement.

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