`Blatant anti-Israel obsession`: Netanyahu denounces war crime probe by UN

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland

Separately, Israeli news website Walla reported that the head of the Egyptian general intelligence Abbas Kamel was due to travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Sunday to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas officials. Michelle Bachelet also called on Israel to allow an independent probe of military actions in the latest spasm of deadly violence.

Thursday's session marks the 30th extraordinary meeting since the Human Rights Council's creation 15 years ago. She said that Hamas' indiscriminate rocketing during the conflict was also a clear violation of the rules of war.

Calling the decision "shameful", Netanyahu said in a statement that "this is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council's blatant anti-Israel obsession".

At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, with 1,710 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

"Air strikes in such densely populated areas resulted in a high level of civilian fatalities and injuries, as well as the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure", she said.

"If found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects, such attacks may constitute war crimes", she warned. Bachelet urged Israel to ensure accountability, as required under global law in such cases, including through "impartial, independent investigations" of actions in the escalation. "However, the actions of one party do not absolve the other from its obligations under global law".

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that went into force last Friday has so far held, ending 11 days of devastating Israeli bombardment of Gaza and rocket fire into Israel from the coastal strip that started on May 10.

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Earlier this month, The situation escalated after violence in Jerusalem and over the possibility of eviction of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods.

Earlier Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council made a decision to create an open-ended worldwide investigation into violations surrounding the latest Gaza violence, and into the "systematic" abuses in the Palestinian territories and inside Israel.

Before the vote, Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, slammed the session and the resolution, insisting that they were yet another example of the council's bias against Israel.

The green flag of the Hamas militant group is flown at the top of piled-up debris in Gaza on May 22, 2021, after a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar said Hamas - designated a terrorist organisation by the USA and its allies - had fired 4400 rockets at Israeli civilians from "from Palestinian homes, hospitals, and schools".

"What would you do if rockets were fired at Dublin, Paris, or Madrid", she asked.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki meanwhile accused Israel of instituting "an apartheid system".

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