Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO
The bloody floor of a home in Kibbutz Be'eri after Hamas terrorists carried out a brutal massacre on Oct. 7.

Israeli authorities are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the military operations and attacks in Gaza since 7 October 2023, the “United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel,” the commission claimed in a report released Wednesday.

“The Commission also found that Palestinian armed groups are responsible for war crimes committed in Israel,” the commission added.


The report was based on interviews with alleged Palestinian Authority and Gaza victims and witnesses conducted remotely, and during a mission to Turkey and Egypt, both countries that have expressed firm support for the Palestinian Authority. Turkey currently hosts an international Hamas headquarters on its soil from which terror attacks against Israeli civilians have been planned and in some cases already carried out.

“Israel obstructed the Commission’s investigations and prevented its access to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the commission complained.

“It is imperative that all those who have committed crimes be held accountable,” said Navi Pillay, Chair of the Commission. “The only way to stop the recurring cycles of violence, including aggression and retribution by both sides, is to ensure strict adherence to international law.

“Israel must immediately stop its military operations and attacks in Gaza, including the assault on Rafah, which has cost the lives of hundreds of civilians and again displaced hundreds of thousands of people to unsafe locations without basic services and humanitarian assistance,” Pillay said.

“Hamas and Palestinian armed groups must immediately cease rocket attacks and release all hostages. The taking of hostages constitutes a war crime.”

The UNHRC commission threw the book at Israel, accusing authorities in the Jewish State of being responsible for the war crimes of “starvation as a method of warfare, murder or willful killing, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, forcible transfer, sexual violence, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment, arbitrary detention and outrages upon personal dignity.”

The Commission also found that the crimes against humanity of “extermination, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, murder, forcible transfer, and torture and inhuman and cruel treatment” were also committed.

The report relied primarily on accounts by Gaza “victims and witnesses”, including many who were supporters or outright members of Hamas, and “thousands of open-source items verified through advanced forensic analysis, hundreds of submissions, satellite imagery and forensic medical reports.”

Israel stands accused of creating “immense numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza and widespread destruction of civilian objects and infrastructure” with a “strategy undertaken with intent to cause maximum damage, disregarding the principles of distinction, proportionality and adequate precautions. The intentional use of heavy weapons with large destructive capacity in densely populated areas constitutes an intentional and direct attack on the civilian population.”

There was no mention of the Hamas terror group’s routine use of local civilians as human shields, the Hamas leaderships’ deliberate strategy of placing civilians in harm’s way to maximize injuries and deaths for the photographic global impact, and its routine use of UN facilities for its terror command and control centers.

Nor was there any mention of the IDF’s routine attempts to prevent civilian casualties by dropping millions of flyers in Arabic warning of impending local combat and directing the population to safe zones, hundreds of thousands of SMS text messages in Arabic to warn civilians to leave impending combat zones, and even phone calls to local residents with similar warnings and instructions.

“The report found that statements made by Israeli officials – including those reflecting the policy of inflicting widespread destruction and killing large numbers of civilians – amounted to incitement and may constitute other serious international crimes,” the UNHRC said in a release.

“Direct and public incitement to genocide is a crime under international law whenever perpetrated, even by persons with no direct authority for the conduct of the hostilities. Incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is a serious violation of international human rights law and may amount to an international crime.”

Despite the IDF’s hundreds of evacuation orders to people in north Gaza and other locations, the Commission found that they were at times “insufficient, unclear and conflicting, and did not provide adequate time for safe evacuations.”

Israel was blamed for combat on the evacuation routes and in areas designated as safe, with no mention of the fact that Hamas embedded itself in the population and launched attacks on IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians from those areas.

“All of this, the Commission determined, amounted to forcible transfer,” the UNHRC said.

“The siege has disproportionately impacted pregnant women and persons with disabilities, with serious harm inflicted on children leading to preventable child deaths from starvation including newborns.”

The report also found that “specific forms of sexual and gender-based violence constitute part of Israeli Security Forces’ operating procedures.

The finding was allegedly due to the “frequency, prevalence and severity of the violations, which include public stripping and nudity intended to humiliate the community at large and accentuate the subordination of an occupied people.”

There was no mention of the fact that the so-called “public stripping and nudity” is necessary to ensure that captured suspected terrorists are not wearing suicide belts or carrying bombs.

Israeli forces in Judea and Samaria were accused of committing “acts of sexual violence, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, all of which are war crimes.

“Furthermore, the Commission found that the government of Israel and Israeli forces permitted, fostered and instigated a campaign of settler violence against Palestinian communities in the West Bank,” the UNHRC said.

Hamas was not entirely spared, however.

“In relation to the attack of 7 October in Israel, the report found that the military wing of Hamas and six other Palestinian armed groups, are responsible for the war crimes of intentionally directing attacks against civilians, murder or willful killing, torture, inhuman or cruel treatment, destroying or seizing the property of an adversary, outrages upon personal dignity, and taking hostages, including children,” the UNHRC said.

“The indiscriminate firing of thousands of projectiles towards Israeli towns and cities resulting in death and injury of civilians are also violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

“Members of Palestinian armed groups, in some instances aided by Palestinians in civilian clothing, deliberately killed, injured, tortured, took hostages, including children, and committed sexual and gender-based violence against civilians and against members of the Israeli Security Forces, some of whom were hors de combat and should not have been targeted.

“The Commission identified patterns indicative of sexual violence and concluded that these were not isolated incidents but perpetrated in similar ways in several locations primarily against Israeli women,” the UNHRC said.

Israel was ordered to end the war and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority government and “de facto authorities in Gaza” were ordered to immediately stop all rocket attacks on Israel, unconditionally release all hostages.

The Ramallah government and Hamas were also ordered to “thoroughly and impartially investigate violations and prosecute those responsible for crimes, including those committed on and since 7 October by members of Palestinian non-State armed groups in Israel.”

For real.

The Commission’s report will be presented to the Human Rights Council’s 56th session on June 19 in Geneva.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.