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UN calls for independent investigations into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

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News briefing

Translation and Editing: Committee for Justice

Geneva: November 28, 2023


UN experts have called for swift, transparent, and independent investigations into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory on and after October 7, 2023.


Cooperation of all parties to the conflict is essential:

In a statement published by the Human Rights Council Media Center in Geneva, the experts said: “Independent investigators must be given the necessary resources, support and access required to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into crimes allegedly committed by all parties to the conflict,” calling on Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the de facto authorities in Gaza to cooperate fully with investigations.

“The duty to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity, including any act of summary or extrajudicial killing, torture or other outrages on human dignity, is a fundamental legal obligation,” they added.


The international community must bring perpetrators to justice:

The experts urged the international community to ensure that all those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as other international crimes committed in the conflict, especially those in leadership roles, are brought to justice promptly.

They also called on all parties to the armed conflict to protect civilians and comply with their obligations under international law. The experts emphasized that “There is no statute of limitation for such crimes, and they fall under universal jurisdiction, which means that courts in any country can exercise their authority to prosecute those responsible, regardless of their nationality and the country where the crimes were committed.”

The experts encouraged all states to take a proactive role in identifying key suspected perpetrators and facilitate judicial prosecutions through the principle of mutual legal assistance. They also noted the necessity of reliable evidence – gathered by independent and impartial investigators, including forensic experts experienced in investigating violations of international humanitarian law – for the success of judicial prosecutions, and that investigations must comply with international standards.

The experts welcomed ongoing investigations by the International Criminal Court and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel, to examine and document all existing evidence of crimes committed to date in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.


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