UN Condemns ‘Wanton’ Killing of Palestinian Double-Amputee

Abu-Thurayya was hit with a live bullet in the head fired by an Israeli sniper at the Gaza border. (Photo: MEMO)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’d al-Hussein has said that the killing of Palestinian double-amputee Abu Thurayeh is “incomprehensible,” citing his “severe disability, which must have been clearly visible to those who shot him.”

Abu Thurayeh was protesting US President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state when he was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers on Friday at the north-eastern Gaza border.

Trump’s declaration has ignited protests across Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which have so far resulted in 10 deaths. Thousands have been injured by live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, with hundreds more arrested, including children.

Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh’s case caught international attention because he was left wheelchair-bound after losing both legs during a 2008 Israeli missile strike on the besieged Gaza strip.

In a military statement, Israel claimed that it is impossible to determine what killed Abu Thurayeh: “No live fire was aimed at Abu Thurayeh. It is impossible to determine whether Abu Thurayeh was injured as a result of riot dispersal means, or what caused his death.”

The military statement acknowledges soldiers used live rounds aimed at “main instigators,” partially admitting to the use of excessive force.

“The lethal use of firearms should only be employed as the last resort, when strictly unavoidable, in order to protect life,” al-Hussein said.

The UN official called on Israel to open an independent investigation into casualties and stressed US responsibility. “These events, including the loss of five irreplaceable lives, can sadly be traced directly back to the unilateral US announcement on the status of Jerusalem, which breaks international consensus and was dangerously provocative,” he said.

Hours after his statement, al-Hussein sent an e-mail to his staff informing them he has decided to step down when his term ends next summer.

“I have decided not to seek a second four-year term,” he wrote. “To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy; lessening the independence and integrity of my voice — which is your voice.”

Earlier this year, another senior UN official, Rima Khalaf, resigned after publishing a report stating that Israel imposes an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians.

(teleSUR, PC, Social Media)

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