UN announces Gaza war inquiry

Ban Ki-moon says attacks on UN facilities during Israel's assault on Gaza Strip during July-August will be investigated.

    UN announces Gaza war inquiry
    More than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed in the 50-day conflict [EPA]

    The UN says it will begin investigating attacks on its facilities during Israel's recent war against Hamas in Gaza, that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians.

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that the world body was investigating a deadly strike near one of its schools in the Gaza Strip and the alleged use of UN sites to store weapons.

    "I am planning to move forward with an independent board of inquiry to look into the most serious cases, as well as instances in which weaponry was found on UN premises," Ban said at a monthly meeting of the UN Security Council.

    Inside Story: Has Israel committed war crimes in Gaza?

    More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed during 50 days of fighting in July-August between Israel and Palestinian groups; while 108,000 people remain homeless.

    Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the inquiry was standard procedure whenever UN facilities are targeted.

    In one incident, more than a dozen people were killed at a UN school during Israeli shelling. Israel has cited Hamas' use of UN facilities to store rockets as a reason for targeting them.

    The UN Human Rights Council had previously set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate alleged violations of humanitarian and human rights laws during the conflict.

    Israel's military also last month opened five criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations, including attacks that killed four Palestinian children on a beach and 17 people at a UN school.

    An estimated 20,000 homes were badly damaged or destroyed in the fighting and Gaza's power station and other major infrastructure were hit, with rebuilding expected to take years.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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