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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:17:47

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Reforms mapped out in a resolution of the third plenary session of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lay out a path for China to become a developed country by building on recent policies that have opened the economy to foreign capital, according to Grow Investment's chief economist Hong Hao.

The 20th CPC Central Committee adopted the resolution on further deepening reform comprehensively to advance Chinese modernization at its third plenary session held in Beijing from Monday to Thursday, drawing up a sweeping blueprint that will guide China's reform and opening-up for years to come.

Offering the first glimpse of what nearly 400 officials discussed behind closed doors during the four-day meeting, it outlined the country's aim to build into a "high-level socialist market economy" by 2035.

In his analysis of the readout, Hong underscored the country's transition to an economy centered on innovation.

"I think right now China is going through the process of restructuring its growth engine. So in the past twenty years, it has been exports and also it has been the domestic property market that have been driving Chinese growth. I think going forward, there's a new term that is being mentioned many times in the recent communique (resolution), which is the new [quality] productive forces. So we are hoping in the next stage of growth, we're trying to use technological advancement and other forms of new technology to help China go into a medium-level developed country," said the chief economist.

Financial reform is one of the main focuses of the document, which calls for tax cuts and deepening institutional reform in finance and fiscal policy.

In Hong's view, these reforms will likely be key to enticing more foreign capital into the country's financial sector.

"Since a couple of years ago, we've been allowing foreign capital to increase its stake in many of the financial industries in China, for example, insurance, mutual fund companies. So right now the foreign capital can own a majority at stake in many of these companies. I think going forward, there's also a reform of how the mutual fund industry is being regulated, how financial professionals have been compensated in the financial industry and also how best to use the financial instruments as the instrument to propel Chinese growth," said Hong.

More reforms to unlock "hidden productive forces" of China’s economy: investment economist

More reforms to unlock "hidden productive forces" of China’s economy: investment economist

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