UN starts hearings on Israeli violations against Palestinians
An independent UN commission plans five days of hearings to investigate the Israeli occupation's human rights violations committed against Palestinians.
A series of public hearings with victims of Israeli human rights violations was launched on Monday at the United Nations in Geneva, with the Israeli occupation unsurprisingly dismissing them as "sham trials".
Established by the UN Human Rights Council last year, the independent Commission of Inquiry (COI) plans five days of hearings which it says will be impartial.
In response, the Israeli occupation diplomatic mission in Geneva said in a statement that "this (COI) and the convening of these sham trials shame and undermine the Human Rights Council."
A couple of weeks ago, Israeli occupation Prime Minister Yair Lapid described on Friday a COI report accusing "Israel" of violating international law following the 2021 aggression on Gaza, as "distinctly antisemitic".
It is noteworthy that a UN human rights office has previously dismissed Israeli claims of bias, pointing out that the occupation had not cooperated with the COI's work.
The first set of hearings will focus on the closure orders of a number of Palestinian non-governmental organizations by the Israeli occupation in August and the killing of the Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in May. The findings of the UN rights office suggest that Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli occupation forces.
Three representatives from the closed Palestinian non-governmental organizations will testify on the first day of hearings.
It is noteworthy that neither the hearings nor the UN Human Rights Council has any legal powers, but investigations launched by the Council could be sometimes used as evidence before national or international courts.
Besides the Israeli occupation, the United States has unsurprisingly criticized the UN Human Rights Council for what it has described as a "chronic bias" against "Israel", quitting the body in 2018, but fully rejoining this year.
The three-member COI was created after the 11-day war on Gaza in May 2021, during which 250 Palestinians were martyred by Israeli occupation forces. The inquiry mandate includes human rights abuses before and after the war.