File photo: Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Israeli actions in Palestine during the latest escalation in Gaza violate the “highest principles of human rights,” Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Thursday.
Addressing a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Shoukry said that Egypt has exerted strenuous efforts and intensive contacts to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and ensure the exercise of their legitimate rights to allow for the restoration of peace and stability in the region.
He highlighted Cairo’s efforts to secure a ceasefire and prevent a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
During a special one-day council session, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said that the recent deadly airstrikes in Gaza may constitute war crimes.
The session saw discussions on a proposal by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation aimed at launching an extensive and international investigation into violations surrounding the latest violence and "systematic" abuses imposed on Palestinians.
The 11-day fighting has been deemed the most serious since 2014, as Israel struck Gaza with artillery and air strikes in response to rocket attacks on Israeli towns from the strip, which is controlled by Hamas.
At least 254 people were killed in Gaza with over 1,900 wounded, according to Palestinian health authorities, while the death toll in Israel stood at 13 before an Egypt-sponsored ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions went into effect on Friday.