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Hamas welcomes UN inquiry results as ‘another’ confirmation of Israel's crimes in Gaza

June 20, 2024 at 1:43 pm

Chairwoman of the “The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel”, South-Africa’s Navi Pillay (R) speaks during a briefing to UN member states about ongoing investigations of the Commission at the UN offices in Geneva, on April 16, 2024 [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has welcomed the results of a UN Commission of Inquiry on the occupied Palestinian territories, which has concluded that Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza. In a media statement on Wednesday, Hamas said that the commission’s outcomes are yet another international confirmation of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

Navi Pillay, the Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, said yesterday that, since 7 October, the Commission had carried out two parallel investigations: first, into attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Israel on 7 and 8 October; and, second, into Israeli military operations and attacks in Gaza between 7 October and 31 December.

In relation to Israel’s military operations and attacks in Gaza from 7 October, the Commission concluded that the Israeli authorities were responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

“Israel’s total siege of the Gaza Strip had weaponised the provision of life-sustaining necessities for strategic and political gains, including through cutting off supplies of water, food, electricity, fuel and other essential supplies, including humanitarian assistance,” added Pillay. The Commission also found that Israeli forces committed sexual and gender-based violence with the intent to humiliate and further subordinate the Palestinian community.

According to Hamas, the inquiry’s outcomes are, “A new confirmation from a high-ranking international body of what the criminal Zionist occupation army has committed and continues to commit in the Gaza Strip and all our occupied territories, which are crimes and violations that have no justification other than the application of genocide and ethnic cleansing and displacement against our Palestinian people.” The movement praised “international efforts to document the Israeli crimes, condemn its violations, and achieve international justice.”

However, Hamas expressed regret at what it called “equating the victim with the executioner,” referring to the commission’s outcome on the Palestinians resistance cross-border attack on 7 October. This found that, “Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups were responsible for the war crimes of intentionally directing attacks against civilians, murder or wilful killing, torture, inhuman or cruel treatment, destroying or seizing the property of an adversary, outrages upon personal dignity, and taking hostages.”

It has since been confirmed by Israeli media that many of those alleged to have been killed by Hamas during the 7 October incursion were, in fact, killed by the Israel Defence Forces.

Hamas has called on the international community, the UN and all human rights bodies to “stop” the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, stressing that it is a “collective responsibility” and a “legal and moral duty” to stop the crime of genocide that is being carried out in full view of the entire world. It also called for support for the International Court of Justice efforts to hold the Israeli occupation and its war criminal leaders accountable.

Since 7 October, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza that has killed or wounded nearly 123,000 Palestinians, most of them children and women. A further 10,000 are missing amid massive destruction and growing famine conditions that have claimed the lives of dozens of people, most of them children.

Israel continues its war on Gaza, ignoring the UN Security Council resolutions to stop. It has also ignored the rulings of the International Court of Justice to end the invasion of Rafah and to take measures to prevent acts of genocide and improve the dire humanitarian situation in the Strip.

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