British professor joins UN fact-finding mission on Israeli killing of Palestinian civilians

6 December 2006

The United Nations Human Rights Council announced today that it has appointed a second member of its high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military attack last month killed 19 Palestinian civilians.

The United Nations Human Rights Council announced today that it has appointed a second member of its high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military attack last month killed 19 Palestinian civilians.

The legal professor Christine Chinkin of the United Kingdom will join Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu on the mission, which is scheduled to head to the region this weekend.

The mission’s tasks include: assessing the situation of victims: dealing with the needs of survivors; and developing recommendations on how to protect Palestinian civilians against further Israeli attacks. A report to the Council is due by the middle of this month.

A professor of international law at the London School of Economics and a faculty member of the University of Michigan Law School, Ms. Chinkin has spent much of her career focusing on the law of treaties and human rights, especially the protection of women’s rights and international dispute resolution. She has also served as a consultant on human trafficking to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Council established the fact-finding mission in a resolution adopted during a special session on 15 November that described Israeli military attacks as “a collective punishment of the civilians.”

At the time of the Beit Hanoun attack, which occurred on 8 November, Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced his shock and took note of Israel’s announcement of a full investigation into the incident, saying he looked forward to its early results.

 

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