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Firm action urged to ensure accountability in Gaza conflict

Amnesty International has written to the United Nations Security Council calling for the establishment of full accountability for crimes committed in Gaza conflict and for deployment of human rights monitors. This follows the near unanimous adoption on Thursday of a resolution calling for an immediate and durable ceasefire in Gaza. In the letter, Amnesty International is calling on the Security Council to take firm action to ensure full accountability for war crimes and other serious abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law. Fighting continues in the region, with Israeli forces continuing to carry out attacks directed at civilians or civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip as well as other disproportionate attacks. Palestinian armed groups continue to carry out rocket attacks directed at Israeli population centres. The toll of civilian casualties continues to rise alarmingly. UN Security Council resolution 1860 calls for an "immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire", for unimpeded provision of humanitarian assistance and the reopening of crossing points into Gaza. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 14 in favour. The United States abstained.   "However, the resolution failed to state that parties must stop violations of international humanitarian and human rights law," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme. "Nor does the resolution address the mounting evidence of war crimes and other serious abuses of international law, or provide for an investigation and for those responsible to be held to account."