UN to send experts to Israel, Lebanon

Will investigate alleged human rights violations committed during the war.

haifa katyusha 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
haifa katyusha 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Four UN experts will visit Israel and Lebanon to investigate alleged human rights violations committed during the Israel-Hizbullah war, the United Nations said Wednesday. The rights experts will conduct their fact-finding mission from Sept. 7-13 and will meet with government officials and independent groups in both countries. The four - Walter Kaelin, Philip Alston, Paul Hunt and Miloon Kothari - will then report their findings at a session of the UN Human Rights Council later this month. The four are experts in displaced people, extra-judicial executions, physical and mental health and housing. "The independent human rights experts will gather firsthand information, establish facts and conduct an impartial legal analysis of the persistent allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law during the recent conflict in order to make specific recommendations to the concerned authorities," the UN human rights office in Geneva said in a statement. The experts are appointed by the UN and report to the council, the global body's top rights watchdog, but their missions are conducted independently and their views don't necessarily represent the United Nations' views. Their mission is separate from a three-member inquiry commission named earlier this month to investigate alleged Israeli abuses committed during the month-long war with Hizbullah after the council condemned Israel's offensive in Lebanon.