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UN rights panel reports 'flagrant' breaches of international law in Mideast conflict

[JURIST] Israel's use of force during its 33-day standoff [JURIST news archive] with Hezbollah in Lebanon was "excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate" in "flagrant violation" of international law, according to a report issued Tuesday by the UN Human Rights Council [official website]. The report [PDF text] is the product of a commission of inquiry sent to the Middle East to investigate the consequences of the conflict between the Israel Defense Forces [official website] and Hezbollah [BBC backgrounder] that occurred during July and August. According to the report, Israeli forces did not give adequate warnings to civilians prior to attacks, and over a thousand deaths and four thousand injuries resulted from the conflict. Reuters has more.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] also released a report [text] Tuesday accusing both sides of committing war crimes in violation of international law and urging the UN to establish an independent inquiry [press release] to investigate the allegations. The AI report documents Israel's use of cluster bombs and destruction of a UN observation as well as Hezbollah's use of rockets against civilian targets. Human rights groups have criticized the use of bombs by both Israel and Hezbollah [JURIST reports] during the conflict. AP has more.

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