Israel refuses cooperation with UN commission investigating Gaza violations

Israel refuses cooperation with UN commission investigating Gaza violations
Israeli UN representative Meirav Eilon Shahar alleged that the commission and its leader are 'morally bankrupt' and 'fundamentally biased' against Tel Aviv.
2 min read
18 February, 2022
Israel's has long been at odds with the UN Human Rights Council [Getty]

Israel announced on Thursday that it will not cooperate with a United Nations commission tasked with investigating violations against Palestinians in Gaza, alleging that the commission and its leader are “morally bankrupt” and “fundamentally biased” against them. 

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, told commission leader Navi Pillay that “there is simply no reason to believe that Israel will receive reasonable, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment from the Council, or from this Commission of Inquiry”. 

The commission, established by the Human Rights Council in May 2021 after an 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza which killed more than 250 Palestinians, is formed of three individual investigators. It is the first open-ended probe of its kind into possible rights violations by Israel. 

At the time of the Israeli offensive, Michelle Bachelet, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that Israeli airstrikes on crowded civilian areas “could constitute war crimes”. 

The commission will not just investigate Israeli actions over the May offensive; it is also tasked with probing possible “root causes” of assaults and human rights violations. 

Its remit extends to activities from the besieged Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank, and inside the state of Israel - a move that Tel Aviv has said shows the rights council holds an anti-Israel bias.

Israeli representative Shahar alleged in her letter that the commission members were appointed because of their history of criticising Israel, “so as to guarantee a politically motivated outcome that is tailored in advance.”