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  1. ITV Report

Israel and Palestinians may have both committed war crimes, UN report finds

Israeli soldiers from the Givati brigade return to Israel from Gaza in August 2014. Credit: Reuters

Israel and Palestinians factions may have both committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza conflict, a UN report has suggested.

The long-awaited inquiry into the military offensive launched by Israel on 8th July last year says it gathered substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law" by both sides.

Israeli officials refused to co-operate with the UN Human Rights Council and have dismissed the report as biased.

ITV News Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports:

More than 2,200 Palestinians - including hundreds of civilians - were killed during last summer's fighting, according to UN and Palestinian officials. 73 people died on the Israeli side.

At least 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members in single incidents, amounting to 742 deaths, the report found.

A Palestinian protester uses slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops following a demonstration last summer. Credit: Reuters
Credit: United Nations

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For its part in the conflict, Israel faces allegations in the report's findings that it potentially breached international law during its conduct of the war - including the deliberate targeting of residential homes with precision weapons and the overuse of artillery in civilian areas.

Credit: Reuters

In the case of Hamas and other Palestinian factions fighting in the Gaza strip, the report accuses them of using indiscriminate rocket and mortar fire and of the murder of alleged Palestinian collaborators.

“The use of rockets in the possession of Palestinian armed groups, indiscriminate in nature, and any targeted mortar attack against civilians constitute violations of international humanitarian law, in particular of the fundamental principle of distinction, which may amount to a war crime,” the report’s authors conclude.