World powers must hold Israel accountable: UN

Geneva - The United Nations' senior human rights official said on Thursday she believed Israel was deliberately defying international law in its military offensive in Gaza and that world powers should hold it accountable for possible war crimes.

Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, and UN premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

"Therefore I would say that they appear to be defying, deliberate defiance of obligations that international law imposes on Israel", Pillay told a news briefing.

"This is why again and again I say we cannot allow impunity, we cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on."

Hamas militants in Gaza have also violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel, sometimes from densely-populated areas, Pillay said.

She also criticised the United States, Israel's main ally, for failing to use its influence with the Jewish state to halt the carnage.

"Many of my remarks have been directed to the United States since they are a party with influence over Israel to do much more to stop the killing, to bring the parties to the negotiating table. I've called also for an end to the blockade and an end to the occupation."


Pillay said that she was appalled at Washington consistently voting against resolutions on Israel in the Human Rights Council, General Assembly and Security Council.

"They have not only provided the heavy weaponry which is now being used by Israel in Gaza but they've also provided almost $1bn in providing the 'Iron Domes' to protect Israel from rocket attacks", she said. "But no such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing international alarm over a rising civilian death toll in Gaza, said on Thursday he would not accept any ceasefire that stopped Israel completing the destruction of militants' infiltration tunnels.

Gaza officials say at least 1 372 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and nearly 7 000 wounded. Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza clashes and more than 400 wounded. Three civilians have been killed by Palestinian shelling in Israel.

Israel says it is acting to stop the Hamas rocket attacks.

Pillay said that as Israel prosecuted only four Israeli soldiers for its 2008/09 Operation Caste Lead, including one for alleged theft of a credit card, she did not expect it to investigate properly violations committed during its air strikes and ground assault on Gaza, now in its fourth week.

"But international law is clear that where a state is unable or unwilling to carry out investigations and prosecutions, the international [criminal justice] system applies", she said.

Previous UN commissions of inquiry into Israel incursions into Gaza have called for the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to Pillay, a former UN war crimes judge.

"Accountability and justice cannot be expected to be achieved through [Israeli] domestic proceedings. This is evident from the lack of adequate investigations by Israel and no attempt whatsoever made by the international community to implement the recommendations made by the Gaza fact-finding mission report, Pillay said.

Alan Smith 2014/07/31 05:30:07 PM
The only appalling thing here is that crazy pillazy is allowed to open her poisonous trap
forest gump 2014/07/31 05:30:20 PM
Just to say this: Hamas does not want a two-state solution. In fact, nobody with any sense wants that. It is a racist solution and would never work anyway. Palestinians just want their freedom and Israel has to wake up and be grown up and take down the walls and share the whole land and learn to be tolerant and live in peace with everyone same goes for Palestinians as well
Scanity1 2014/07/31 05:37:41 PM
To Navi Pillay ; 2200 rockets fired into Israel indiscrimanately , What do you define that as; Christmas Party. If Israel did not have the Iron Dome, the casulaties on the Israeli side would have been in the THOUSANDS; What do you call that ; An inconvenient casualty of war. Hardly a rebuke torwards Hamas. To people like Navi Pillay Israel is just an Inconvenient Truth, and what ever Israel ever does she will always be condemned in the eyes of the world.
Abdul Hamied Ismail 2014/07/31 05:43:13 PM
To zionist and their supporters if u think Israel is winning think again if u think they are the sane and humanitarian ones think again....their days are numbered start saying your prayers if u do say any at all!!!!
Shaun O'Meara 2014/07/31 05:43:49 PM
Pillay. Check your facts and shut up. Why are people like you even allowed to be in the position you are in. What fool put another ie you to even comment.
Zahir 2014/07/31 05:46:48 PM
After 3 weeks of bombing gaza from land sea and air using the most advanced weapons supplied by usa the hamas rockets have not stopped and the only thing achieved by the zionist state is the killing unarmed civilians
Jeremy Bard 2014/07/31 05:47:20 PM
No Martin. Don't think you understand what bigot means. Let me educate you: Zionism = bigot = racist of thw worst order = murderous scum = barbaric filth
Stephanes Heunis 2014/07/31 05:47:27 PM
yes navi, but forget the terrorist act against Israel, your single minded moegoe
Modupi Motake 2014/07/31 05:49:32 PM
World powers must hold God's children accountable!
Jabulani Nicholas Lushaba 2014/07/31 05:59:14 PM
Sanctions are drafted against Russia for Eastern Ukraine uprising,coz West believes Russia has an influence...... no Sanctions drafted against the West for Israels offensive, but the West has an influence on Israel.......... talk about double standards