The Commission of Inquiry on the occupied Palestinian territories has released a report on war crimes in Gaza.

Speaking in Geneva, Navi Pillay, chair of the UN-backed Commission, says Israel “forcibly transferred almost the entire population into a small enclosure that is unsafe and uninhabitable.

“The deliberate use of heavy weapons with large destructive capacity in densely populated areas constitutes an intentional and direct attack on the civilian population.”

Pillay says the commission concluded that specific forms of sexual and gender-based violence constitute part of Israeli security forces operating procedures.

The daily onslaught in Gaza has largely overshadowed a parallel wave of violence in the occupied West Bank, said Pillay of the UN commission of inquiry.

Since the Gaza war began in October, she noted, more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers there than in any recorded period.

The violence is due to both Israel’s increasingly militarised operations and a “surge in settler violence”, often ignored by Israeli forces, she said.