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UN Human Rights Office calls for major Israel and Palestinian probe

In Europe
February 23, 2024

The UN Human Rights Office is calling for a review of human rights violations in the Palestinian Territories and Israel.

“The entrenched impunity reported by our Office for decades cannot be permitted to continue. There must be accountability on all sides for violations seen over 56 years of occupation and the 16 years of blockade of Gaza, and up to today,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said in a statement in Geneva.

“Justice is a pre-requisite for ending cycles of violence and for Palestinians and Israelis to be able to take meaningful steps towards peace.”

The official request for an investigation relates to the period of 12 months until October 31, 2023, in line with the mandate given to the Office by the UN Human Rights Council in a resolution from April 2023.

However, Türk would like to investigate much further back. All sides must be held accountable for their actions since the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories after the Six-Day War in 1967 until today, Türk said.

The list of abuses includes killings, hostage-taking, destruction of civilian facilities, collective punishment and many more acts that are prohibited under international humanitarian law.

The terrorist killings of over 1,200 people inside Israel on October 7 of last year by Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas and other groups are included in the official probe, as well as Israel’s initial military response. Since then, the Hamas-run health authorities in the Gaza Strip say almost 30,000 people are dead.

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