Israel killings in Gaza could amount to war crimes – UN

Tuesday 5th March 2019 | Jake

An inquiry set up last year by the UN’s human rights council has said Israel had “no justification” for shooting live ammunition at protesters during last years demonstrations in the Gaza Strip. “Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity”, the commission’s report says. The report covers events between the 30th of March 2018 and 31st December 2018. During which time Israeli Security Forces killed 183 protesters in Gaza, 35 of which were children.

6,106 Palestinians were injured by Israeli live ammunition at the demonstrations, which reached a bloody height on the 30th March and the 14th of May, when a combined 78 Palestinians were killed. Protests regularly take place at sites across the Gaza border, often turning violently. The report notes Palestinian protesters use violence themselves, but concluded that Palestinian protests were “civilian in nature”. One Israeli soldier was killed during the protests investigated.

According to the report “Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.” These actions constitute crimes against humanity and are in direct violation of humanitarian law. The damning investigation analysed over 8,000 documents to use as evidence and conducted 325 interviews with victims, witnesses and sources. The commission repeatedly asked Israeli authorities for information, but were denied a reply, let alone access to information.

The commission finished its report pleading with Israel to investigate the events detailed. However, the report’s findings were dismissed as “another hostile, mendacious and slanted report against the State of Israel” by Israel’s acting foreign minister Yisrael Katz.

Read the report here.