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UN Gaza report finds evidence of war crimes

Ma'an News Agency

A report released June 22 by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict finds that both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes during the 51-day conflict. The death toll among Palestinians is put at 2,251, including 1,462 civilians, of whom 299 were women and 551 children. A further 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,436 children, were injured, of whom 10% suffered permanent disability. Some 18,000 housing units in Gaza were destroyed in whole or part; much of the electricity network and the water and sanitation infrastructure was incapacitated; and 73 medical facilities and many ambulances damaged. Many Palestinians were uprooted from their homes or temporary shelters multiple times; at the height of hostilities, the number of internally displaced persons reached 500,000, or 28% of Gaza's population. The report notes that casualty figures gathered by the United Nations, Israel, Palestinian authorities and non-governmental organizations differ, but states that "the high incidence of loss of human life and injury in Gaza is heartbreaking."

On the Israeli side, the report finds that six civilians and 67 soldiers were killed, with up to 1,600 Israelis injured. According to official Israeli sources, rockets and mortars hit civilian buildings and infrastructure, including schools and houses, causing direct damage to civilian property amounting to almost $25 million. The report "urges all actors to take immediate steps to ensure accountability, including by guaranteeing the rights of all victims to an effective remedy."

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