A senior United Nations (UN) official has suggested that the Israeli regime must be prosecuted for committing human rights violations in its war on the Gaza Strip last summer.
Speaking ahead of the release of a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report on the Israeli war on the blockaded Palestinian territory, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, said in Geneva on Monday that he hoped the report “will pave the way for justice to be done to all civilians who fell victim to the fighting last year by holding to account those alleged to have committed grave and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, through investigation and, where required, prosecution.”
The UN official particularly voiced concern about the continuation of the crippling Israeli siege on Gaza, warning that “the longstanding blockade and slow reconstruction is generating more poverty and has further undermined economic and social rights” might cause “renewed violence.”
He further stated that physical reconstruction was not sufficient for the Palestinian territory, and that Gaza also needed the reconstruction of hope, development, accountability and respect for human rights.
Al-Hussein also called on Israel to end its settlement construction and stop its illegal practice of destroying Palestinian homes in the West Bank.
The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is due later in June to publish the findings of the probe into Tel Aviv’s war crimes during the latest Israeli military aggression against the blockaded Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014.
Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, lost their lives and some 11,000 were injured in the July-August 2014 assaults. Gaza health officials say the victims included 578 children and nearly 260 women, with more than 3,100 children injured in the offensive.
This as at least 73 Israelis - nearly all of whom soldiers - were killed during the offensive.
The UN has already said Israel was responsible for the deadly bombings of several UN institutions, including schools, in which displaced Palestinian civilians were sheltering.
'Gaza report is a lie'
In a report, known as the “Gaza report” released Sunday, the Israeli foreign ministry defended its conduct in the war, calling it both “lawful” and “legitimate.”
The report concerning Israel’s 50-day military offensive against the impoverished sliver also accused Hamas of committing war crimes.
The Palestinian resistance movement, however, released a statement on Monday, saying, “The claims in this report are all a lie.”
“According to Israel’s report, 44 percent of those killed were militants, whereas the percentage of militants killed was less than 20 percent,” the statement further read.
Hamas also said that hundreds were killed by Israel’s advanced missiles and called on the international community not to take Israeli “lies” into consideration.