UNHRC appoints commission to probe 'abuses' during Israel-Gaza fighting

Former UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay to chair commission investigating alleged abuses during recent Israel-Gaza conflict.

Elad Benari ,

Navi Pillay
Navi Pillay
Reuters

The president of the UN Human Rights Council announced on Thursday that Navi Pillay will chair a commission to investigate what was described as “systematic” abuses allegedly committed in Israel and Palestinian Authority territories during the recent violence between Hamas and Israel in May.

Pillay, who served as UN high commissioner for human rights from 2008 to 2014, is currently a judge at the International Court of Justice tribunal examining allegations of genocide in Myanmar, according to The Associated Press.

The commission’s other members are Miloon Kothari, an architect and expert on housing rights from India, and Chris Sidoti of Australia, who has served on panels investigating abuses in Myanmar.

Pillay has a history of anti-Israel statements. In 2014, she condemned Israel for "targeting" UN-run schools and hospitals in Gaza, while failing to mention three UN-run schools in Gaza had been used as rocket warehouses, a gross violation of international law that clearly falls within the category of war crimes.

Weeks before that, Pillay opened an emergency UN debate on Gaza by saying there is a "strong possibility" that Israel is violating law in Gaza, and that could amount to war crimes.

She said the killing of Gaza civilians, especially children, raises concerns on Israel's precautions and respect for proportionality.

The UNHRC is notorious for its longstanding bias against Israel. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the UNHRC in 2018 due to this.

However, the Biden Administration returned to the organization earlier this year, even though it acknowledged its “disproportionate focus” on Israel.



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