Public Comment

War Crimes in Gaza

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 17, 2015 - 06:37:00 PM

In its long awaited report, the UN Human Rights Council's independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer found evidence of “massive and systematic war crimes”. Investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.” Investigation chairperson, Justice Mary McGowan Davis, stated that “the extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come.” 

Despite the “balanced language” language which is invariably used to avoid false accusation of anti-Israel bias, the raw evidence demonstrates in stark terms the scale of Israeli violence dwarfed by the primitive rocket attacks used by Palestinians in their self-defense. The report clearly lays bare the undeniable fact that Israel targeted Palestinian residential buildings, schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and even the UN building, ignoring the coordinates that were provided to Israeli authorities. Pipelines, torn up by Israeli tanks and bulldozers severely contaminated the ground water in Beit Hanoun to the north of Gaza City. The report should be used as a basis to hold Israeli leaders fully accountable in International Courts. The report concludes that as the occupying power in Gaza, severely restricting the free flow of goods and services, Israel failed in its legal obligations to protect the civilian population. Finally, Israel would do well to heed the growing sentiment that ‘Palestinians lives matter’ voiced across many colleges and religious institutions throughout the world.