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UN Unveils Panel to Probe Gaza War

  • VOA News

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon greets a Palestinian man, whose house was destroyed, at a UN-run school for refugees in Gaza City on Oct. 14, 2014.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon greets a Palestinian man, whose house was destroyed, at a UN-run school for refugees in Gaza City on Oct. 14, 2014.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has formed a board of inquiry to probe Israeli attacks on U.N. shelters during the recent Gaza war, and the discovery of Hamas weaponry at some U.N. sites.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said the five-member board will be chaired by Ban's former military adviser, retired Dutch Major-General Patrick Cammaert. Haq described the probe as an "internal and independent" inquiry limited to incidents between July 8 and August 26.

The world body says more than 2,100 Palestinians - most of them civilians - were killed in the 52-day conflict, including 500 children. Additionally, more than 200 Gaza schools were struck and thousands of residents left homeless. Israel maintains that Hamas militants used schools - including those converted to civilian shelters - to store weapons.

Seventy-two Israelis also perished in cross-border rocket attacks by Hamas militants.

The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva has set up a separate commission of inquiry, headed by a Canadian lawyer.

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