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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Human Rights Council Condemns Israel's Use of "Lethal Force" in the Gaza Protests


7Dnews London

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 23:40 GMT

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Israel's "apparently deliberate use of lethal force and other forms of excessive force" against civilian protesters in Gaza and called for the perpetrators of all violations in the Gaza Strip to be brought to justice.

Protests began on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip in March last year to demand an easing of the Israeli blockade of the territory and recognition of the right of Palestinians to return to the territories from which their families fled or were forced to leave when Israel was established in 1948.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Friday and wounded 55 while participating in weekly protests on the Gaza-Israel border.

On the closing day of four weeks of meetings, the Council adopted a resolution calling for accountability by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The resolution was supported by 23 States against eight States and 15 abstentions, as well as one country.

The resolution called for cooperation with a preliminary investigation initiated by the International Criminal Court in 2015 on allegations of Israeli human rights violations.

The decision was based on a report by a UN commission of inquiry that said Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity when it killed 189 Palestinians and injured more than 6,100 during last week's weekly protests.

Palestinian Ambassador Ibrahim Khuraishi, referring to the report's findings, said targeting civilians was dangerous and should not be tolerated. He added that among the dead were 35 children, two journalists and paramedics.

He pointed out that no Israeli was questioned, whether civilian or military.

Israeli Ambassador Aviva Raz Sheikter denounced what she described as "clear evidence of political bias against Israel" in the report and accused the committee of ignoring the "very real danger" facing some 70,000 Israeli civilians living on the border because of 1,300 rockets fired by Hamas militants during the interrogation period Between 30 March and 31 December.

In Jerusalem, the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement rejecting what it called a "hypocritical approach" by criticising Israel alone on the basis of "premeditated" results that ignored reality on the ground.

Middle East