UN commission accuses Israel of obstructing Oct. 7 probe

Member of UN inquiry commission urges Israeli government, victims, and witnesses to assist probe

Reuters April 16, 2024
A man sits next to posters with images of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 16, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS


A UN-mandated commission of inquiry that probes violations of international human rights law on Tuesday accused Israel of obstructing its efforts to collect evidence from the victims of the attack by Hamas in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

"So far as the government of Israel is concerned, we have not only seen a lack of cooperation, but active obstruction of our efforts to receive evidence from Israeli witnesses and victims to the events that occurred in southern Israel," said Chris Sidoti, one of three members of a commission of inquiry into abuses committed in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

"We have contact with many, but we would like to have contact with more."

Sidoti appealed to the government of Israel, as well as victims and witnesses of the attack, to aid the commission in conducting its probe.

In response to Sidoti's comments, the Israeli diplomatic mission in Geneva said it had been carrying out its own investigation into the crimes, and that representatives of the United Nations and other institutions had been to Israel and met with survivors and victims.

Read also: UN expert says Israel has committed genocide in Gaza, calls for arms embargo

Victims would "never get any justice or the dignified treatment they deserve from the Commission of Inquiry and its members", it said, describing the commission as having "a track record of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements".

Israel began its campaign against Hamas after the Palestinian group attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

The UN commission of inquiry, set up in 2021 by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, is mandated to collect evidence and identify perpetrators of international crimes.

The evidence gathered by such UN bodies has formed the basis for war crimes prosecutions and the International Criminal Court.

Earlier this month, the Commission was mandated to probe two additional lines of inquiry: violent settlers and settler groups, and arms transfer to Israel. Those findings will be presented at the UN Human Rights Council in June next year.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ