ANKARA: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday demanded a probe into allegations of war crimes committed by Israel, the “occupying power” in Palestine.
Condemning Israel’s “belligerence,” the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) called for an international investigation, including by the International Criminal Court, “of the war crimes committed by the Israeli government to bring an end to the impunity.”
“IPHRC unequivocally condemns the ongoing barbaric aggression by Israel, the Occupying Power, in Palestine resulting into killing and maiming of hundreds of innocent Palestinians, including women and children besides causing destruction and annihilation of civilian infrastructure,” the rights body said in a statement.
Israel has been pummeling Gaza with airstrikes and artillery fire attacks since last week. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 1,305 people have been injured and dozens of buildings destroyed or damaged in the Israeli offensive.
“The Commission is appalled by the relentless and indiscriminate bombing by Israel, the Occupying Power, deliberately destroying residential buildings, schools and economic facilities, which has resulted in the killings of around 180 Palestinian non-combatants and civilians, including two notable doctors, 52 children and 31 women in the Gaza region alone,” the IPHRC said.
“In a shameless act of belligerence,” said the IPHRC, “the Occupying Power has also destroyed a tower which housed foreign and domestic broadcasting outlets to cause a media blackout.”
“This deliberate bombardment of civilian objects clearly reveals Israeli intent to inflict collective punishment on the entire population, which is a serious violation of international humanitarian law,” it added.
The body said the regular extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, their poor living conditions, expulsion from their homes for illegal settlements, and economic blockade were “telltale signs of incremental genocide.”
It backed a resolution adopted at the OIC executive committee on Sunday calling for “immediate cessation of hostilities by the Israeli government and instant humanitarian and lifesaving medical aid to the victims of the hostilities.”
The IPHRC also called for the implementation of resolutions by the UN Security Council and OIC on Palestine which “explicitly call for an end to Israeli occupation and the realization of the Palestinians right to self-determination.”
The recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.