GENEVA (AFP) — Both Israel and Palestinian militants may have committed war crimes during last year’s Gaza war, a widely anticipated United Nations report said Monday, decrying “unprecedented” devastation and human suffering.The Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict announced it had gathered “substantial information pointing to the possible commission of war crimes by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups.”
On Jan. 16 the ICC announced “a preliminary examination” into Israel’s actions over a period including the Gaza war in which over 2,200 Palestinians were killed, mainly civilians.On the Israeli side 73 people were killed, 67 whom were soldiers.On April 1, the PLO acceded to the ICC with the goal of trying Israeli leaders over alleged abuses in the Gaza war and alleged crimes relating to the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.But the Israeli military has expressed confidence that its own internal probes will be sufficient to head off action by the Hague-based court.
On June 11, the Israeli army said that it was dropping proceedings over a July 16 bombing of a Gaza beach where four children were killed during last summer’s war.
Cousins Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, both aged 10, nine-year-old Mohamed Ramez Bakr and 11-year-old Ismail Mohamed Bakr were playing on the beach in Gaza City when they were hit in strikes witnessed by journalists staying at a beachfront hotel.
The death of the four boys was well documented and brought international outcry against policies that allegedly enabled the Israeli military to kill civilians.