The United Nations commission investigating Israel's war on Gaza said in its report released Monday that “Israel did not respond” to repeated requests for information to aid its investigation and that “the commission learned from a press release that no such cooperation would be forthcoming.”
In contrast, the U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict, says it received full cooperation from the State of Palestine, including answers to a list of questions relating to specific incidents and legal and policy issues.
The remarks are made in a report, overseen by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which affirms that, “The 2014 hostilities have had an enormous impact on the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”
It also alleges “war crimes” took place by both the Israeli state and the Hamas resistance movement.
However, the asymmetry in the documented crimes is clear from the report’s figures.
According to official figures, 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed, including 299 women and 551 children; thousands more were injured. Meanwhile 73 Israelis, 67 whom were soldiers, were killed during the offensive in what the report describes as “the tragic result of the hostilities.”
Alongside the shocking death toll, the document also talks about the enormous destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza. Some international agencies have calculated that the reconstruction of the enclave may take more than 100 years, due to the Israeli blockade. In this regard, the commission says the impact of the 2014 attacks "cannot be assessed separately from the blockade".
Both Israel and Hamas have rejected the conclusions of the report alleging war crimes.
Among the Israeli military actions that may constitute war crimes were air strikes on residential buildings in Gaza, leading to "attacks on shelters, hospitals and critical infrastructure" and "destruction by artillery fire, air strikes and bulldozers may have been adopted as a tactic of war." The report adds that Israel’s "attacks against civilians constitutes a violation of the principle of distinction and may amount to a war crime."
Claims of crimes by Hamas include "extrajudicial executions" of alleged Israeli collaborators and the "indiscriminate nature of most of the projectiles directed towards Israel." The U.N. experts assigned to the report said they did not receive answers from the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas to its allegations.