GENEVA, July 23 (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is ready to establish a designated commission to investigate into human rights violations in the Gaza Strip and related to the military operations conducted since June 13, 2014, the draft resolution of the UNHRC’s 21st special session said.
“[UNHRC] decides to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, whether before, during or after,” the document obtained by RIA Novosti says.
The commission will seek “to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible.”
UNHRC stressed that the establishment of the commission is necessary to avoid and end impunity, as well as to ensure “that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways and means to protect civilians against any further assaults.”
The results of the commission’s work will be presented to UNHRC at its 28th session.
The council also expressed it concerns over the forced relocation of tens of thousands of Palestinians, the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, and the lack of potable water and adequate medical help. UNHRC also called on all the parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and return to the negotiations table.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8, 2014, in response to continued air attacks carried out by Palestinian militants.
Tensions between both sides have been strained since the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir on July 2. The boy was abducted in Israel-occupied East Jerusalem. His burned body was later found in another part of the city. Palestinians accuse Israeli extremists of killing the teenager to avenge the deaths of three Israeli teens that were abducted and killed in the West Bank.
Operation Protective Edge is Israel’s first military campaign since November 2012 and involves numerous airstrikes against the Hamas movement and its allied groups of Palestinian rebels. Israel maintains it is waging a targeted military campaign, while human rights groups record an increasing number of civilian deaths.
According to Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization based in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s operation and ground invasion into the Gaza Strip has already killed at least 597 Palestinians, including 152 children and 82 women. 150,000 people have been displaced and at least, 3,143 houses have been destroyed.
On July 17, following days of fighting, the Israeli military switched to a ground invasion aimed at destroying underground tunnels dug by rebels used to secretly enter Israeli territory.
On Sunday, Israel announced it was expanding its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip following days of shelling and aerial bombardment.