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Ex-UN Rights Chief to lead probe into abuses during 11-day Gaza war

Hamas chief

Geneva, July 22: Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has been appointed to head a Commission of Inquiry into alleged violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory during the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) said in a press release on Wednesday.

“The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan (Fiji), today announced the appointment of Navi Pillay (South Africa), Miloon Kothari (India) and Chris Sidoti (Australia) to serve as the three members of the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. Pillay will serve as Chair of the three-person Commission,” the release said.

The Commission is tasked with establishing facts that may amount to such violations, identifying those responsible and ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable. It will present its first report before the UNHRC in June 2022.

Through a resolution adopted on May 27, the UNHRC decided to urgently set up an international probe to investigate rights abuses allegedly committed during the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Pillay, who served as UN human rights chief from 2008 to 2014, is now serving as Judge Ad Hoc of the International Court of Justice in the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

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