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UN chief unsure whether Israeli, Palestinian war crimes reports meet UN mandate

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon [official website] said Thursday that it is unclear [BBC report] whether Israel and Palestine have fully met UN demands [JURIST report] to set up a commission to investigate war crimes that may occurred during the Gaza conflict [JURIST news archive]. The UN General Assembly [official website] adopted a resolution [press release] in November giving Israel and Palestine three months to complete an investigation into war crimes allegations. In a press briefing [text] before Ban's report to the General Assembly, a UN spokesperson said that the secretary-general has received reports from both the Israeli and Palestinian governments, but he is unsure [AFP report] about whether they fully comply with the UN resolution. Ban's report to the general assembly is expected to be released after UN member states first receive a copy.

Last week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry [official website] released its 46-page report [JURIST report] to the UN, partially detailing Israeli operations in Gaza and revealing that the Israeli military had disciplined two high-ranking Army officers for firing shells into a populated area in the Gaza strip. Hamas has also denied that it committed war crimes, saying that Israeli civilian deaths during the conflict were an accident [Reuters report]. The investigations come after the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] adopted the findings of the Goldstone Report [JURIST reports], the result of a UNHRC fact-finding mission which said that both the Israeli Defense Forces [official website] and Hamas [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] had committed war crimes during the conflict.

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