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Palestine welcomes UN council’s decision to investigate Israeli violations

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RAMALLAH, July 23 (Xinhua) — Palestine on Thursday welcomed a decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council to form an independent international commission to investigate Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the council’s decision “reflects the international community’s persistence to implement international law and protect Palestinian human rights.”

“Forming the commission came in implementation of Palestine’s decision in the council during its special session number 30,” the statement said, adding that the commission will look into Israeli violations of humanitarian and international human rights law in the Palestinian territories since April 13.

On Thursday, Nazhat Shameem Khan, president of the Human Rights Council, announced the appointment of Navi Pillay, Miloon Kothari and Chris Sidoti as the three members of the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The council said in a press statement that Pillay, a South African, who was the former chief of the council, will serve as the chair of the new three-person commission, which was also tasked with investigating “all underlying root cause of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict.”

Israeli media reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the move “completely ignores the 4,300 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli citizens in May.”

In April, tensions escalated in East Jerusalem and then spread to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in May following an Israeli court’s verdict to evict families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the city.

On May 10, Israel waged a large-scale aerial offensive on the Gaza Strip after militants led by the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, launched a barrage of rockets at Israel.

The offensive ended after 11 days of fighting when Egypt brokered a ceasefire deal between the two sides. More than 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed, with widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure in Gaza.

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