United Nations rights chief says Israeli strikes in Gaza may be war crimes
May 31 2021
Israel's foreign minister arrived in Egypt's capital Cairo on Sunday in a bid to shore up a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group, Hamas.
On the same day, Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi made the first official visit by an Israeli top diplomat to neighbouring Egypt in 13 years, for talks with his counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for Hamas, said the Islamist Palestinian group that controls Gaza "welcomes the decision of the Human Rights Council to form an global investigation committee into Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories".
Motegi had telephone talks with the foreign ministers of both sides earlier this week, offering assistance to Gaza and also requesting them to continue a ceasefire.
Israeli strikes on Gaza killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, and have wounded more than 1,900 people, the Gaza health ministry says.
Last week, Canada welcomed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that left hundreds of people dead.
The United Nations is calling on the worldwide community to extend a total of $95 million to help reconstruct Gaza. She said that Hamas' indiscriminate rocketing during the conflict was also a clear violation of the rules of war.
Rockets and other fire from Gaza claimed 12 lives in Israel, including one child and an Arab-Israeli teenager, medics said. "At the same time we have witnessed a continued reluctance in the Biden administration to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes in Gaza or uphold American values by demanding an end to evictions of Palestinians in Jerusalem".
Upon his arrival to Cairo Ashkenazi personally thanked Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, and said that "During this visit, we will hold a number of meetings to discuss bilateral issues to strengthen economic and trade relations, and go into the mechanisms of peace in Gaza and rebuilding the sector under worldwide supervision".
Hamas has pledged not to touch "a single cent" of global aid to rebuild Gaza.
A bitter divide between Hamas and Fatah has long plagued Palestinian politics, but analysts say the latest escalation has served to unite the geographically fragmented Palestinian community in a way not seen in years.
It said it would also look at the "underlying root causes of recurrent tensions and instability, including systematic discrimination" in the occupied Palestinian Territories and inside Israel.
After visiting Israel this week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken toldAxios that he warned Israeli leaders that forcing more Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem or future confrontations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound could fuel further "tension, conflict, and war".