Gaza Crisis: 695 Dead & 4,500 Injured, UN Accuses Israel of War Crimes

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 24, 2014 8:23 AM EST

The United Nation has always been critical of Israel's offensives in Gaza. Now, Navi Pillay accused Israel of "war crimes." The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights indicated that Israel might have committed so during its offensives in the Gaza Strip.

REUTERS/Nir Elias
An Israeli Apache helicopter fires flares above Israel near the border with the northern Gaza Strip July 22, 2014.

According to Pillay who spoke at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Israeli army is not doing enough to protect Palestinian civilians. "There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes," Pillay said. She was, however, also critical of Hamas for their "indiscriminate attacks" on the Jewish nation.

Israel, on the other hand, does not believe that the UN Human Rights Council is acting neutrally. It often accuses the council of being biased. Israel, according to reports, may not even co-operate if there is any investigation authorised by the UN.

Tzipi Livni, the Justice Minister of the country, said that Israel was working in accordance with international law. "It is regrettable civilians are killed, but when we call on them to vacate and Hamas calls on them to stay, then that is what happens," Livni said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon along with other political leaders from Israel and Palestine to broker a ceasefire between the battling sides. Several nations from all over the world have called for a ceasefire but neither Hamas nor Israel seems to be in a mood to go for the same.

In the meantime, a powerful message came from someone whose personal loss was the major reason why the offensives started in the first place. Racheli Fraenkel, the mother of one of the three Jewish teenagers who were allegedly kidnapped and subsequently killed by Hamas, said that the children from neither side should go through the present situation. "Your children and our children -- nobody should really go through what we're going through now," she said.

Israel started airstrikes on Gaza in response to the kidnapping and the murder of the Israeli teenagers. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, so far 695 Palestinians including 166 children have been killed while over 4,500 people are injured.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias / )
An Israeli Apache helicopter fires flares above Israel near the border with the northern Gaza Strip July 22, 2014.
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