UN probe latest of many reports on Gaza conflict

1 min 42Approximate reading time

Findings published Monday by a UN Commission of Inquiry saying Israel and Palestinian militants may have both committed war crimes during last year’s Gaza war are the latest in a string of critical reports on the conflict.

Here is a look at previous reports on the war:

UN secretary general’s board of inquiry

A report to the UN Security Council on April 27 blamed the Israeli military for seven strikes on UN schools in Gaza that were used as shelters. Forty-four people were killed.

The independent experts who compiled the report also found that UN schools, while vacant at the time, were in three cases used to hide Palestinian weapons. In two of the cases, militants probably fired on Israeli soldiers from them, the report found.

Amnesty International

In a report on May 27, the London-based rights group accused Hamas, which rules Gaza, of war crimes against fellow Palestinians to “settle scores” during the war, executing at least 23 people.

A March 26 report said Palestinian rocket fire killed more civilians in the Gaza Strip than in Israel. Such deadly attacks on civilians on both sides constituted “a war crime,” it said.

On December 9, 2014, Amnesty alleged that the destruction of four multi-story buildings during the last days of the war constituted a breach of international humanitarian law by the Israelis.

Amnesty said in a report on November 5, 2014 that it documented eight instances in which Israeli forces attacked homes in Gaza “without warning”, killing “at least 104 civilians including 62 children”.

It also said in November that “Palestinian armed groups also committed war crimes, firing thousands of indiscriminate rockets into Israel killing six civilians including one child”.

Human Rights Watch

The US-based rights watchdog said on September 11, 2014 that in three cases it examined, Israel caused “numerous civilian casualties in violation of the laws of war”.

The incidents were the separate shellings of two UN schools in northern Gaza on July 24 and 30, and a guided missile strike on another UN school in the southern city of Rafah on August 3.

The attacks killed a total of 45 people including 17 children, HRW said.

International Criminal Court

The ICC’s chief prosecutor in January began a preliminary examination of whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant opening war crimes investigations into the conflict. The examination involves both the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israeli reports and investigations

Israel on June 14 defended its conduct in the Gaza war as both “lawful” and “legitimate” in a detailed inter-ministerial report. The authors acknowledged that “numerous civilians were caught in the hostilities” but they added Israel “did not intentionally target civilians or civilian objects”.

Israeli military authorities have been carrying out their own investigations into its soldiers’ actions during the war. They announced their first charges in April, accusing three soldiers of looting.