Law Insider India

Legal News, Current Trends and Legal Insight | Supreme Court of India and High Courts

UN Rights Chief equates Israel strikes in Gaza to war crimes

2 min read

Deepali Kalia

The UN Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet on May 27 stated that Israeli forces may have committed war crimes in the 11 day war with Hamas, a militant group which rules the Gaza strip. The deadly war has killed at least 248 in Gaza, including 66 children and 39 women. In Israel 12 people and 2 children were reported dead.

“Air strikes in such densely populated areas resulted in a high level of civilian fatalities and injuries, as well as the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure,” Bachelet said.

“Such attacks may constitute war crimes,” she added and also derided the actions of Hamas which comprised of locating military assets in densely populated civilian areas and firing rockets at them.

“These rockets are indiscriminate and fail to distinguish between military and civilian objects, and their use, thereby, constitutes a clear violation of international humanitarian law,” Bachelet said.

“However, the actions of one party do not absolve the other from its obligations under international law.” She further added.

She also called on Israel to permit an independent investigation of the military actions in the 11 day violent conflict.

The remarks were given by Bachelet as the UN’s Top Human Rights body opened a one day special session in order to discuss the “the grave human rights situation” in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

She further stated that unless the root causes of the conflict are not addressed, “It will certainly be a matter of time until the next round of violence commences with further pain and suffering for civilians on all sides.“