UN Rights Chief Backs Calls for Inquiry over Gaza Killings

UN human rights chief, Zeid Raad al Hussein. (Photo: via Twitter)

The UN human rights chief has slammed Israel’s deadly reaction to protests along the Gaza border as “wholly disproportionate”, backing calls for an international investigation.

Opening a special session of the UN Human Rights Council that could set up a commission of inquiry into recent Israeli violence that has resulted in deaths of more than 100 Palestinians in six weeks, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned that:

“Killing resulting from the unlawful use of force by an occupying power may also constitute wilful killings, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

He went on to say that Israel has systematically deprived Palestinians of their human rights, with 1.9 million in Gaza “caged in a toxic slum from birth to death”.

He added:

“Nobody has been made safer by the horrific events of the past week. End the occupation, and the violence and insecurity will largely disappear.”

He pointed out though that while at least 60 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured in a single day of protests on Monday, “on the Israeli side, one soldier was reportedly wounded, slightly, by a stone”.

He told the council:

“The stark contrast in casualties on both sides is … suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response.”

Many of the Palestinians injured and killed “were completely unarmed, (and) were shot in the back, in the chest, in the head and limbs with live ammunition,” he said, adding there was “little evidence of any (Israeli) attempt to minimize casualties”.

“Although some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, used slingshots to throw stones, flew burning kites into Israel and attempted to use wire-cutters against the two fences between Gaza and Israel, these actions alone do not appear to constitute the imminent threat to life or deadly injury which could justify the use of lethal force.”

Zeid said he supported the call for “an investigation that is international, independent and impartial, in the hope the truth regarding these matters will lead to justice.”

The special session comes after weeks of mass protests along the Gaza border, calling for Palestinian refugees to be able to return to their homes now inside Israel to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba or “Catastrophe” when more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven out from their homes by Israeli forces.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

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1 Comment

  1. Is Israel being sent to the UN’s naughty boys’ corner yet again?

    It must be extremely tiresome for this to be happening time after time as, indeed, is listening to the well worn response from Israel.
    ” Please, sir, it wasn’t me, sir. It was all those other boys who started it and I was forced to kill and maim some of them before they would leave me alone.”

    But the Palestinian position isn’t much better. Attacks against the state of Israel, small scale or large, have no chance of improving a situation already almost as bad as it can get.

    Sometimes you just have to go in another direction.

    ‘ Finding the Laxian Key ‘ — ” if we would will the end, then we must also will the means

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