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UN Commission to Investigate Gaza Human Rights Crimes
Aug 14, 2014

The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed three members to its independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip since the conflict began on 13 June.

UN human rights body appointed Amal Alamuddin (United Kingdom), Doudou Diene (Senegal) and William Schabas (Canada) to serve as members on the international Commission. William Schabas will also serve as the Commission's Chair. 

The Commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults. 

The Council had decided by a vote of 29 countries in favour, with 17 abstentions and a sole negative vote by the United States to launch the inquiry at its emergency meeting on 23 July. 17 countries abstained, including Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The same resolution requested that the Commission present a written report to the Human Rights Council at its session in March 2015.

The inquiry will look at all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Gaza Strip in the context of military operations conducted since mid-June. The council criticized Israeli military operations for perpetuating widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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