STORY: :: Gaza City, Gaza

Both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes in the early stages of the war in Gaza, a U.N. inquiry found on Wednesday (June 12).

It also says Israel's actions constituted crimes against humanity because of the immense civilian losses.

::Beeri, Israel

The findings were from two parallel reports published by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry.

One focusing on the October 7 Hamas attacks,

::Gaza City, Gaza

and another on Israel's military response in Gaza.

Israel did not cooperate with the commission, which it says has an anti-Israeli bias.

Israel's diplomatic mission to the U.N. in Geneva rejected the findings.

Hamas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

::Beeri, Israel

According to Israeli tallies, 1,200 people were killed and about 250 were taken hostage in the October 7 attack.

::Rafah, Gaza

The Palestinian health ministry says the military retaliation in Gaza has since killed over 37,000 people.

The reports, which cover the conflict through to the end of December, found that both sides committed war crimes...

....including torture; murder or wilful killing; outrages upon personal dignity; and inhuman or cruel treatment.

The report added Israel also committed additional war crimes including starvation as a method of warfare.

::Khan Younis, Gaza

The COI statement said some of the war crimes such as murder also constituted crime against humanity by Israel.

Using a term reserved for the most serious international crimes knowingly committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians.

::Re'im, Israel

On the report on the October 7 attack, the commission verified four incidents of mass killings in public shelters.

It said that suggests militants had "standing operational instructions."

It also identified "a pattern of sexual violence" by Palestinian armed groups but could not independently verify reports of rape.

The evidence gathered by such U.N.-mandated bodies has sometimes formed the basis for war crimes prosecutions and could be drawn on by the International Criminal Court.

::Israel Defense Ministry

In May, the ICC prosecutor's office has requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense chief Yoav Gallant.

The COI findings will be discussed by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva next week.