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UN probe into Gaza war biased, tainted – Israel

Israel has dismissed as biased a UN inquiry that found it committed crimes against humanity, including that of “extermination,” in its war against Hamas in…

Israel has dismissed as biased a UN inquiry that found it committed crimes against humanity, including that of “extermination,” in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

The report, the first such in-depth investigation by UN experts into the Gaza war, also found that Israeli and Palestinian armed groups had both committed war crimes.

Released Wednesday, the UN’s Independent Commission of Inquiry found Israel “has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity” and other international law violations.

The report noted “a widespread or systematic attack directed against the civilian population in Gaza”.

Israel’s foreign ministry said the commission is “biased and tainted by a distinct anti-Israeli agenda”.

The report “describes an alternate reality in which decades of terrorist attacks have been erased”, it said.

“There are no continuous missile attacks on Israeli citizens and there isn’t a democratic state defending itself against a terrorist assault.”

In its statement released late Wednesday the ministry added: “To add insult to injury, the report is full of false accusations and blood libels against IDF (Israeli army) soldiers.”

The Gaza war began with Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also seized 251 hostages, of whom 116 remain in Gaza, though the Israeli army says at least 41 of them are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive in the Gaza Strip has left more than 37,000 people dead, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry.

The Commission of Inquiry was established by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2021 to investigate alleged international law violations in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The commission also found that members of Hamas and other armed groups participating in the October 7 attack “deliberately killed, injured, mistreated, took hostages and committed sexual and gender-based violence”.

“Hamas and Palestinian armed groups must immediately cease rocket attacks and release all hostages,” said Navi Pillay, a former UN rights chief and ex-International Criminal Court judge who chairs the three-person commission.

Hamas has not yet commented on the UN report.

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