Navi Pillay to head UNHRC’s permanent war crimes probe against Israel
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Navi Pillay to head UNHRC’s permanent war crimes probe against Israel

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International jurist Navi Pillay was tapped to head the United Nations Human Rights Council’s permanent three-person probe into alleged Israeli war crimes.

The UNHRC voted to mandate such a probe at a special May 27 session in Geneva held in the aftermath of the 11-day Gaza war in May and the ethnic riots between Jews and Arabs that rocked the country that both.

The panel will examine Israeli actions on both sides of the Green Line, both within the sovereign borders of the Jewish and in the West Bank and Gaza.

“The probe will explore all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021,” the UNHRC said.

It added that, “the three-person Commission was also tasked with investigating “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”

The panel is expected to “establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and abuses and of crimes perpetrated” and “identify, where possible, those responsible, with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations are held accountable.”

It’s first report is due at the UNHRC’s 50th sessions next year this time. After that the panel will continue to probe Israel to ensure that war crimes have not been committed.

Israel is the only country against which there is a permanent probe. Similarly it is the only country to which a permanent human rights investigator has also been assigned to investigate its alleged violations.

The judicial panel, also also include Miloon Kothari of India and Chris Sidoti of Australia. Pillay is known in Israel for her work as the  former High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 and 2014.

According the UN the South Africa native is 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 (The Gambia v Myanmar).

Israel has opposed the creation of a permanent probe and has argued that it is an example of the UNHRC’s bias against the Jewish state. It is expected to the deny the three legal experts accept to Israel and the Palestinians territories, as it has done with such investigator probes in the past.

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