[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] told [transcript] the UN Human Rights Council [official website] Wednesday in the aftermath of a controversial trip [AFP report] to the Middle East that "the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is grave and worsening, within a general climate of impunity." She called on Israel to properly investigate 19 Palestinian civilian deaths [CNN report] caused by an Israeli attack on Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip on November 8, stating that its probes must remain "transparent, credible and independent." Arbour told the council that while Israel has a duty to protect its own citizens from Palestinian attacks, it must do so within the bounds of international human rights law.
Earlier this month the US vetoed [JURIST report] a UN resolution condemning the Beit Hanun attack after Israel admitted that it was a mistake [Haaretz report]. While visiting Gaza, Arbour condemned [JURIST report] ongoing violations of Palestinian rights in the region as "intolerable". AFP has more.