(Photo credit: AP)
Israeli officials are reportedly working to block a UN investigating team from looking into and reporting on war crimes committed during Tel Aviv’s May 2021 attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip.
In remarks made in a letter delivered to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Israeli ambassador to the UN Meirav Eilon Shahar said that “there is simply no reason to believe that Israel will receive reasonable, equitable, and non-discriminatory treatment from the Council, or from this Commission of Inquiry.”
The letter addressed to the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) head Navi Pillay added that “This COI is sure to be yet another sorry chapter in the efforts to demonize Israel.”
The May 2021 bombardment of Gaza took place after uprisings in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and against the backdrop of the Israeli occupation aggression against Palestinians at Al-Aqsa mosque.
The Israeli blitz on the densely populated Gaza Strip, taking place over 11 days, left at least 248 Palestinians dead.
The May 2021 attack was the fourth of its kind against Gaza, with previous campaigns of indiscriminate shelling taking place sin 2008, in 2012, and in the summer of 2014.
Over 60 children were killed during the Israeli attacks in May 2021, and at least 1,200 Palestinians were wounded.
Former UN Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet said that Israel’s actions, which included airstrikes in civilian areas, may have constituted war crimes.
In late December, a 125-nation majority voted in favor of launching a war crime investigation by the UNHRC against Israel, which included the 11-day May 2021 onslaught.