[VIDEO] Israel strikes on Gaza may constitute war crime, says UN rights chief

Bel Trew

The Independent  /  May 27, 2021

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has said that Israel’s deadly strikes on Gaza last week may constitute war crimes if they are shown to be disproportionate.

VIDEO: Drone captures scale of Gaza City destruction


Opening a special session of the UN Human Rights Council, called at the request of Muslim states, Mrs. Bachelet questioned Israeli claims that they were solely hitting military targets, saying that she had seen no evidence that civilian buildings in Gaza hit by Israeli strikes were being used by for military purposes.

“If found disproportionate, such attacks might constitute war crimes,” she told the 47-member Geneva forum.

She also urged Hamas militants in Gaza to refrain from firing indiscriminate rockets on Israel.

Israel has repeatedly denied it targets civilians or that its strikes are disproportionate, saying that the army uses precision weapons and even warning systems to minimize civilian damage.

“The IDF aspires to avoid civilian casualties as far as possible,” it said in a statement about a slew of bombings on Al-Wehda Street, a heavily populated neighbourhood of Gaza City.

The Israeli army said Hamas bears responsibility for “intentionally locating its military infrastructure under civilian houses, thus exposing civilians to danger”.

Bel Trew – Middle East Correspondent, in Jerusalem