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What We Know About the U.N. Report on Israeli and Palestinian War Crimes

WorldWhat We Know About the U.N. Report on Israeli and Palestinian War Crimes

A commission at the United Nations published a report on Wednesday detailing acts of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, accusing both sides of war crimes and arguing that the immense loss of life in the Gaza Strip amounted to a crime against humanity.

The report consisted of two parallel investigations, one focused on the Oct. 7 attack on Israel led by the armed Palestinian group Hamas, and the other on Israel’s military response. It is one of the most detailed examinations thus far of the conflict and provides legal analysis that is likely to be used in future criminal proceedings related to the war in Gaza.

Here is a closer look at the commission’s findings.

According to the report, 800 civilians were among the more than 1,200 killed by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups involved in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel. More than 250 additional people — including 36 children — were taken hostage, the commission said.

The commission accused Israeli forces of responding to the Hamas-led attacks in such a way that amounted to collective punishment against Palestinians, with a lethal toll on civilians that constituted a crime against humanity. The Ministry of Health in Gaza said more than 37,000 people are now dead, though it does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

The commission said both sides were responsible for killing civilians despite their identifying themselves as noncombatants.


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