On Thursday, the U.N.’s top human rights official said both Hamas and Israel are committing war crimes in Gaza.
Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, also suggested that Israel was deliberately defying international law.
From the Associated Press:
“Locating rockets within schools and hospitals, or even launching these rockets from densely populated areas are violations of international humanitarian law,” Pillay said, referring to Hamas, but added that doesn’t “absolve” Israel from disregarding the same law.
Israeli’s initial aerial campaign against Hamas broadened to a ground offensive on July 17. Pillay said the government has defied international law in Gaza by attacking civilian areas with schools, hospitals, homes and U.N. facilities.
“None of this appears to me to be accidental,” Pillay said of Israel at a news conference in Geneva to mark the end of her six-year term. “They appear to be defying — deliberate defiance of — obligations that international law imposes on Israel.”
Pillay continued, denouncing Israel’s strike on Gaza’s power plant and water wells.
“What I’m seeing now is a recurrence of the very acts that the Gaza fact-finding mission indicated as constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military has asked the U.S. for more ammunition in their fight against Hamas. They also called up 16,000 additional reservists to bolster their forces.
The addition brings the total number of reservists Israel has called up since the beginning of the operation against Hamas to 86,000, a military spokeswoman said.
It’s a move Pillay has been vocal about, taking aim at the U.S. for being Israel’s main ally and providing financial support for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system.
“No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” she said.
U.S. officials have agreed to Israel’s request to resupply them with several types of ammunition, a U.S. defense official told CNN on condition of anonymity.
Among the items being bought are 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers, the official said. Those will come from a stockpile the United States keeps in Israel, which is worth more than $1 billion.
The three-week-long fighting has led to the death of 1,300 Palestinians and 59 Israelis.
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