‘War Crimes’ of Both Sides in Gaza Conflict

Their campaign comes as Israel faces heavy worldwide pressure over its actions in Gaza, with a United Nations report released Monday saying both the Jewish state and Palestinian militants may have committed war crimes during last year’s conflict in the besieged coastal enclave.

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Investigators urged Israel to explain its “targeting decisions” to allow independent assessment of its attacks on Gaza Strip which they said had killed 1,462 civilians.

Among the findings it points out is the report’s conclusion that tunnels dug by Hamas into Israel were not meant to target civilians and were legitimate military tools, that threatening messages sent by Hamas as part of psychological warfare were bona fide warnings to help civilians get out of harm’s way, and that the conflict wasn’t connected to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens earlier in the summer, which by most accounts kicked off the summer of blood.

For him it is a ‘’further proof that the United Nations is biased against Israel.’’.

“The participation of an Arab Israeli MP alongside those who want to fight against Israel is a demonstration of activity in the service of the enemy under the sponsorship of parliamentary immunity”, she said in a statement late Sunday.

“We must remember that the victims are not just numbers… they are individual people”, Davis said as she released the report in Geneva.

“The one sided and libelous mandate, presupposing Israel’s guilt from the get-go, Schabas’ impartiality and ousting, they are all connected and run as the scarlet thread through this commission’s activity and subsequent report” said Segal.

It’s all so depressingly familiar now: another war in the Middle East, another report. It said “in some cases, these violations may amount to war crimes”. Amnesty global also documented and condemned the extrajudicial executions of at least 23 alleged “collaborators” in Gaza by Hamas forces during the conflict, and the arbitrary arrest and torture of dozens of others.

McGowan Davis, an ex- justice of the New York state Supreme Court, replaced Schabas as head of the inquiry.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeatedly claimed that the Commission is biased against Israel.

While not going so far as to make direct accusations of war crimes against Israel, the report concluded that both sides in the conflict “may have committed war crimes”.

An executive summary said the 217-page report was based on 280 interviews with victims and witnesses, many conducted by videoconference, and on 500 written submissions, along with publicly available information, including data from Israeli government websites.

A report by the council into the 2008-09 war, conducted by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, found evidence that Israel and Hamas both committed war crimes, though Goldstone later backed off his key allegations against Israel. The timing of the attacks increased the likelihood that many people, often entire families, would be at home.

Hanin Zuabi, a female Arab-Israeli MP who was on board at the time, was roundly denounced by the Israeli political establishment as a traitor – with Ghattas now facing a similar outcry. It said numerous strikes took place in the evening or at dawn, when families were gathered for meals of the holy month of Ramadan or were asleep. Israel arrested hundreds of Hamas members in raids in the West Bank, prompting militant groups in Gaza to step up their rocket attacks. “Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August 2014, killing 6 civilians and injuring at least 1,600”, the report said.

The commission is concerned about Israel’s extensive use of weapons with a wide kill and injury radius; though not illegal, their use in densely populated areas is highly likely to kill combatants and civilians indiscriminately. Last week, Netanyahu accused the U.N. of “hypocrisy” after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel for the death and suffering of Palestinian children during last year’s fighting.

The U.N. Human Rights Council had no intention of being a disappointment.

Israel has so far refused to sign onto the global Criminal Court.

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War crimes likely by both sides in 2014 Gaza war UN