Archbishop Desmond Tutu, professor to visit Gaza on UN-backed mission

27 May 2008

An independent United Nations fact-finding mission – by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics – will visit Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

The High Level Fact-Finding Mission to the area was established by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in November 2006 following an Israeli attack that resulted in 19 people, including 7 children, being killed.

For the two-day mission from 27-28 May, Archbishop Tutu and Professor Chinkin will enter Gaza from Egypt. They are scheduled to hold a range of meetings in Gaza, including with survivors and witnesses of the attack on 8 November 2006.

The mission will submit a final report to the September session of the HRC.

Last June, the mission submitted a report to the Council in which is said that “significant” human rights violations occurred there and called for an independent probe by national authorities.

The report noted that “it is clear that significant human rights violations resulted in Beit Hanoun from the activities of the Israel Defence Force (IDF) on and around 8 November,” and that those events must be investigated by an independent, impartial and transparent process, preferably at the national level.


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