Israel violated human rights laws during Gaza protests – UN

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UN probe says Israel response to Gaza protests ‘may constitute’ crimes against humanity.

Demonstrators with Palestinian flags take cover as Israeli soldiers are seen on their military vehicle during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 21, 2018.
Demonstrators with Palestinian flags take cover as Israeli soldiers are seen on their military vehicle during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 21, 2018. (Reuters)

There is evidence that Israel committed crimes against humanity in responding to 2018 protests in Gaza, as snipers targeted people clearly identifiable as children, health workers and journalists, the UN Human Rights Council said on Thursday.

Weekly protests have been held in Gaza since March last year, with Palestinians demanding the right to return to their ancestral homes.

“Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity,” the chair of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Santiago Canton, said in a statement.

He said the violations “clearly warrant criminal investigation and prosecution.”

TRT World spoke to Gaza-based journalist Hind al Khoudary for more.

The special report was released after an intensive probe was launched into the Gaza protests of 2018 UNHRC.

The report timeline is from 30 March to 31 December 2018 and shows that 183 unarmed Palestinians were shot and killed and 6,106 injured with live ammunition used by Israeli troops during protests.

The dead and injured include women, children, disabled and journalists.

During this period, there was no impact on the Israeli side, besides four people being injured.

Israel rejected the report with Acting Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying that the UN Human Rights Council had “produced another hostile, mendacious and slanted report against the State of Israel … No one can deny Israel the right of self-defence and the obligation to defend its citizens and borders from violent attacks.”

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