Muslim countries call on UN to probe possible crimes in Israel-Palestine conflict

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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) calls on the United Nations to investigate possible crimes and abuses committed in the latest Gaza conflict between Israel and the Palestinian military group Hamas.

The Human Rights Council will convene a special session on Thursday following a request presented by Pakistan, as coordinator of the OIC, and the state of Palestine.

The council said in a statement that its session will address “the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”

A draft resolution submitted on Tuesday stated the council would establish an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, since Apr. 13.

It would also examine all underlying root causes of tensions and instability, “including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity,” the draft said.

The independent team would collect and analyse evidence of crimes perpetrated, including forensic material, “in order to maximise the possibility of its admissibility in legal proceedings”.

Reporting back in June 2022, it would identify those responsible to try and end impunity and ensure legal accountability.

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said in a tweet last week that convening the session “targeting Israel is testament to the clear anti-Israeli agenda of this body”.

Its sponsors were “only rewarding the actions of Hamas, a terrorist organization”, she added, referring to the Islamist rulers of the coastal strip.

Since being set up in 2006, the UN rights council, a 47-member forum, has held eight previous special sessions that have condemned Israel and set up several probes into alleged war crimes.

The United States re-joined the forum under President Biden after the Trump administration quit accusing it of an anti-Israel bias. The US delegation currently has observer status but no vote.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the Middle East on Tuesday and pledged that Washington would provide new aid to help rebuild Gaza as part of efforts to bolster a ceasefire between its Hamas Islamist rulers and Israel. (Source: CNA)

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