IP - A United Nations-backed independent commission reported that the “Israeli” military’s deliberate use of heavy weapons during its relentless offensives in the besieged Gaza Strip has been an “intentional and direct attack on the civilian population”.

Iran Press/ West Asia: Navi Pillay, chairperson of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said on Wednesday that “‘Israeli’ authorities are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

These include “extermination, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, murder or willful killing, using starvation as a method of war, forcible transfer, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture and cruel or inhuman treatment,” Pillay said as she presented the report to the UN Human Rights Council.

The UN commissioner said the “Israeli” military “forcibly transferred almost the entire population [in Gaza] into a small enclosure that is unsafe and uninhabitable” and used heavy weapons in densely populated areas in “an intentional and direct attack on the civilian population”.

Pillay said the commission concluded that specific forms of sexual and gender-based violence constituted part of the “Israeli” forces’ procedures.

The UN commissioner said the world faces its biggest threat of impunity for violations of international law unless perpetrators are held to account and justice is delivered for all victims.

She underscored that the large-scale surprise operation by members of Hamas and other Gaza-based resistance fighters against the apartheid “Israeli” entity in early October did not occur in a vacuum as it was preceded by decades of violence and retribution against Palestinians.

“Thousands of Palestinians have been detained and are being held incommunicado…,” Pillay said.

Pillay’s commission found that the immense numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza, and the widespread destruction of civilian objects and infrastructure were the inevitable result of an intentional strategy to cause maximum damage.

Pillay also noted that the daily onslaught in Gaza must not sideline attention to a parallel wave of violence in the occupied West Bank, where more Palestinians have been killed by “Israeli” forces or settlers since the start of the Gaza war in any other recorded period.

The apartheid “Israeli” entity waged an atrocious onslaught against the Gaza Strip, targeting hospitals, residences, and houses of worship after Palestinian resistance movements launched the surprise Operation al-Aqsa Flood against the usurping entity on October 7.

The entity has murdered more than 37,390 Palestinians, most of them women and children, in Gaza since that October day.

Over 85,500 individuals have also sustained injuries. More than 1.7 million people have been internally displaced during the war as well.