PA welcomes UNHRC probe of Israeli 'violations'

PA welcomes formation of commission headed by Navi Pillay to investigate alleged “Israeli violations” of Palestinian Arab rights.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

United Nations headquarters
United Nations headquarters

The Palestinian Authority welcomed a decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council to form an independent international commission to investigate alleged “Israeli violations” of Palestinian Arab rights during the recent round of fighting in Gaza.

In a statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency, the PA “ministry of foreign affairs” said that the council's decision "reflects the international community's persistence to implement international law and protect Palestinian human rights."

"Forming the commission came in implementation of Palestine's decision in the council during its special session number 30," the statement said, adding that the commission will look into Israeli violations of humanitarian and international human rights law in Palestinian territories since April 13.

On Thursday, the president of the UN Human Rights Council announced 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.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)