UN panel to investigate Israeli war crimes next month

Published August 13th, 2014 - 05:56 GMT

A panel appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will next month start investigating the crimes committed by Israel in its latest war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Palestinian delegate to the UNHRC Ibrahim Khreisheh made the announcement on Tuesday, saying, “A team of seven to eight members will be assigned by the High Commissioner’s office to be working alongside with the panel.”

On Monday, the UN Security Council appointed Amal Alamuddin from the United Kingdom, Doudou Diène from Senegal and William Schabas from Canada to serve as members of the human rights body’s independent Commission of Inquiry to probe the Israeli crimes. 

Alamuddin has reportedly declined the UN’s appointment and will be replaced by another individual.

The Palestinian representative to the UNHRC further said that the panel members will enter the besieged territory through Egypt.

The panel will hear reports of “Israeli war crimes that occurred in the West Bank before the offensive on the Gaza Strip which started with detaining and killing more than 11 Palestinians, including the kidnapping, burning and killing of teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir,” Khreisha added.

“The escorting team will be investigating all humanitarian and international laws violations since June 13, 2014,” he noted.

The panel will submit its report to the UNHRC by March 2015.

Israel launched the latest war against the blockaded Gaza Strip on July 8. More than 1,940 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have lost their lives and nearly 10,000 have been wounded in the Israeli military attacks.

A temporary Egypt-brokered truce between the two sides came into effect at 2100 GMT on Sunday. Israel and Palestinians are currently involved in indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital of Cairo for a potential extension of the ceasefire.

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