GAZA CITY – The United Nations Human Rights Council has named members of the international commission that will investigate war crimes committed by Israel during aggression against Gaza that started last July, a decision welcomed by Palestinians.
“Hamas welcomes the decision to form an investigation committee into the war crimes committed by the occupation [Israel] against Gaza and it urges that it begin work as soon as possible,” Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, was quoted by Reuters on Tuesday, August 12.
Led by William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, the UN commission will include Doudou Diene, a Senegalese veteran UN human rights expert. Gaza: Bleeding and Resisting (Folder)
The UN statement said the independent team will investigate “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law ... in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014.”
Amal Alamuddin, a British-Lebanese lawyer, declined to serve on UN probe into Gaza after being named by the UN.
“I am honored to have received the offer, but given existing commitments - including eight ongoing cases - unfortunately could not accept this role,” she said in a statement.
The UN inquiry, which will release its report by March 2015, was dismissed by Israel that repeatedly accused the Security Council of being biased against it.
“The Human Rights Council had long ago turned into the 'terrorist rights council' and a kangaroo court, whose 'investigations' are pre-determined,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a statement.
Egyptian state media reported ongoing indirect talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Cairo in a bid to reach a long-term resolution for the hostility.
Back to Gaza
As the Egypt-brokered truce between Hamas and Israel entered its second day, thousands have been taking advantage of the lull to get back to their normal life.
Palestinian Key Demands:
Lifting of the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that crippled life in the coastal strip
Release of prisoners
Opening a seap-ort to the strip home to almost two-million residents
Israel's Main Conditions:
Demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip
Disarmament of Hamas and other resistance groups
Strict controls on goods crossing into Gaza
“We want to go back to see what happened to our house,” Hikmat Atta, 58, who piled his family into a small cart to visit their home in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, told Al Jazeera.
“We're just going back for the day, at night we'll come back here,” he said.
The large scale of mass destruction in Gaza has left about 5,510 homes completely destroyed and about 31,000 partially damaged, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes that were caught up in the Israeli air strikes.
Returning to their homes, Gaza's war-weary residents found that they have lost everything, finding only rubbles of their destroyed homes dominating the scene.
Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since July 8 where 1,945 have been killed and thousands injured.
According to UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 80% of deaths in Gaza are civilians, including dozens of children and women.
Israel occupation forces started a ground invasion of besieged Gaza, home to two millions civilian, on Thursday, July 17.
According to the UN the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), about 10% of Gaza Population, 267,970 people, are sheltering in 90 UNRWA schools.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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