Young boy looks on as fighting takes place around a bus

A Palestinian child in front of the Gaza port, which was damaged during the recent escalation. Image ©UNICEF/Eyad El Baba.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Thursday for a “genuine and inclusive peace process” to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a repeat of recent deadly clashes that have been marked by possible war crimes by Israeli security forces.

In comments to the Human Rights Council in Geneva—which stopped short of supporting a call for an international probe into the escalation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel—Ms. Bachelet condemned indiscriminate rocket attacks by Gaza’s de facto authority Hamas, which claimed 10 lives in Israel, and strikes inside the enclave by Israeli Security Forces that left 242 dead.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights also welcomed the 21 May ceasefire but warned that it was only “a matter of time” until the next flare-up, unless the root causes of this latest escalation were addressed.

Addressing the issue of possible war crimes, Ms. Bachelet reminded the Council’s 47 Member States that Israeli airstrikes in densely populated areas had “resulted in a high level of civilian fatalities and injuries as well as the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure.”

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