UN report finds Israel guilty of war crimes for 'unlawful' assault on Gaza flotilla

New York, Sep 23(ANI): A United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report has accused Israel of war crimes through wilful killing, unnecessary brutality and torture in its "unlawful" assault on a ship attempting to break the blockade of Gaza in May.

The 56-page report -compiled by human rights experts Desmond de Silva, Karl Hudson-Phillips and Mary Shanthi Dairiam- described MV Mavi Marmara's seizure by Israeli commandos as illegal under international law.

It also accused Israeli forces of various crimes including violating the right to life, liberty and freedom of expression, and of failing to treat the captured crew and passengers with humanity.

"A series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation," The Guardian quoted the report, as saying.

"There is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the fourth Geneva convention: wilful killing; torture or inhuman treatment; wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health."

"The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel toward the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion, but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality," it added.

Meanwhile, Israel has swiftly dismissed the report as biased.

"The Human Rights Council blamed Israel prior to the investigation and it is no surprise that they condemn after," said Andy David, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Israel also claimed that its troops only resorted to force and opened fire after coming under attack by activists. (ANI)

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