HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsUN indicates Israel obstructing access to October 7 victims

UN indicates Israel obstructing access to October 7 victims


England, 17 April 2024 (TDI): Former UN Rights Chief Navi Pillay indicated that Israel is preventing UN investigators from speaking to witnesses and victims of the 7 October attack.

The Rights Chief is chairing a three-person probe for these investigations. He has briefed diplomats at the UN regarding these investigations.

“I deplore the fact that people inside Israel who wish to speak to us are being denied that opportunity, because we cannot get access into Israel.”

Previously, the unprecedented Commission of Inquiry was established by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2021.

The aim of the COI has been to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“So far as the government of Israel is concerned, we have faced not merely a lack of cooperation but active obstruction of our efforts to receive evidence from Israeli witnesses and victims to the events that occurred in southern Israel,” said Chris Sidoti, one of the three members of the Inquiry.

Furthermore, “I use this opportunity to appeal again both to the government of Israel to cooperate, and to victims and witnesses to the events in southern Israel to contact the Commission of Inquiry so that we can hear what they have experienced,” he appealed.

Also Read: Palestine calls for UN Special Representative to investigate sexual violence

Evidence “disappeared from the internet”

The COI member Chris Sidoti alarmingly indicated that the investigators began collecting digital evidence early on 7th October, whereas, some of which has since “disappeared from the internet”.

“If it had not been collected on that day, it would not have been able to be collected,” he emphasized.

In response to the briefing, Israel issued a statement to AFP.

The victims of the attack, it mentioned, “know too well that they will never get any justice or the dignified treatment they deserve from the Commission of Inquiry and its members.”

Israel further blamed that COI and its members “have a track record of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.”

The UN Rights Chief has previously served as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and presided over the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Additionally, he narrated that the Commission has shared more than 5,000 documents with the ICC in The Hague that have been collected between October and December 2023.

The Commission is to present its first findings to the Human Rights Council in June.

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