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UN Human Rights Office Reports That Israel May Have Committed Systematic War Law Violations

UN Human Rights Office Reports That Israel May Have Committed Systematic War Law Violations

The UN’s human rights office alleges that Israel’s military may have repeatedly breached international laws of war by failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants.

They suggest that Israeli forces potentially violated principles like distinction, proportionality, and precaution in attacks, based on their assessment of six incidents in Gaza from October to December.

Read more: UN Says Gaza Civilian Deaths In Israeli Raid Could Be War Crimes

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk emphasized that the requirement to use methods minimizing civilian harm appeared consistently disregarded. The UN office expressed concern over the lack of credible and transparent investigations, indicating potential need for international action if Israel does not conduct thorough inquiries.

Israel’s permanent mission to the UN in Geneva criticized the UN’s analysis as flawed in terms of facts, legality, and methodology.

Israel’s military campaign, launched in response to Hamas’s deadly attack on October 7, has resulted in the deaths of over 37,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza authorities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Tuesday that the United States is holding back weapons, suggesting this has slowed down the offensive in Rafah, southern Gaza.

“It’s hard to believe that in recent months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition from Israel,” he stated. “If we receive the necessary tools, we can complete the mission much quicker.”

President Joe Biden has postponed the delivery of certain large bombs to Israel since May due to concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza.

The US has taken steps to avoid suggesting that Israeli forces have crossed a critical threshold that would trigger a broader halt to arms transfers.

Despite international pressure, Israeli forces moved deeper into western Rafah on Wednesday, according to Palestinian residents and medical personnel. They report eight deaths, with tanks entering five neighborhoods after midnight and heavy shelling and gunfire hitting tents in the al Mawasi area.

While concerns about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza persist, tensions are rising on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Hezbollah, backed by Iran, has exchanged fire with Israel for eight months and recently launched its largest barrage of rockets and drones at Israeli military sites following the killing of a senior commander in an Israeli strike.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned on Tuesday that a decision on a full-scale war with Hezbollah is imminent. “In a full-scale war, Hezbollah will be destroyed, and Lebanon will suffer severe consequences,” he stated.

Hezbollah insists it will continue its attacks unless there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

The conflict has also involved the US military, which has been conducting strikes on Yemen’s Houthi group in response to repeated attacks on naval traffic.