UN investigators on Tuesday blamed Israel’s continued occupation and discrimination against Palestinians for the endless cycles of violence in the decades-long conflict, prompting angry Israeli protests.
A high-level team of investigators, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to probe “all underlying root causes” in the drawn-out Israel-Palestinian conflict, pointed the finger squarely at Israel.
“Ending the occupation of lands by Israel... remains essential in ending the persistent cycles of violence,” the report said.
The 18-page report mainly focuses on evaluating a long line of past UN investigations, reports and rulings on the situation and how and if those findings were implemented.
“The findings and recommendations relevant to the underlying root causes were overwhelmingly directed towards Israel, which we have taken as an indicator of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the reality of one state occupying the other,” says lead investigator Navi Pillay, a former UN rights chief from South Africa, said in a statement.
Israel has refused to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry (COI) created last year following the 11-day Hamas-Israel war in May 2021, which killed 260 Palestinians and 13 people on the Israeli side.
Israel has also slammed the creation of the investigation, and has also loudly criticised Ms. Pillay for “championing an anti-Israel agenda”.