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UN rights chief condemns 'intolerable' Gaza violations

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] on Monday condemned human rights violations occurring in the Palestinian authorities, saying that violations were "intolerable" and expressing concern for civilians in the area. Arbour is currently visiting the Gaza strip [press release] in order to "examine developments" connected to "the protection of civilians during armed conflict and the entitlement of Palestinians and Israelis equally to enjoy all fundamental freedoms." She told reporters Monday that civilian exposure to shelling is indefensible.

Earlier this month, the United States vetoed [JURIST report] a UN Security Council resolution [draft text and explanations] that would have condemned an Israeli attack on Beit Hanoun [BBC report] in the Gaza Strip on November 8 that resulted in the deaths of at least 18 civilians and called on Israel "to scrupulously abide by its obligations and responsibilities under the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949." Last week, the UN Human Rights Council voted to discharge a fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun [AFP report] to investigate the incident. AFP has more.

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