U.N. experts urge Israel to stop using lethal force against Gaza protesters

Gaza (QNN)- UN war crimes investigators called on Israel on Monday to stop its snipers from using lethal force against protesters on the border with Gaza, as the anniversary of the start of demonstrations last year, which saw 189 Palstinian killed, approaches.

The Commission of Inquiry said Israel should investigate the shooting of more than 6,000 people, far beyond the criminal inquiries it has announced into 11 killings.

The Israeli Security Forces violated international human rights and humanitarian law in Palestine’s occupied Gaza strip, the UN commission also said.

“Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel,” Betty Kaari Murungi, Commissioner of Kenya said in a report published by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Israeli soldiers killed and injured civilians during the Great March of Return protests, who were neither “participating directly in hostilities nor posing an imminent threat to the Israeli Security Forces, or to the civilian population in Israel”, Murungi added.

The commission urged Israel “no to repeat the excessive use of force” that took place on March 30, May 14 and October 12, 2018.

Recalling a senior Israeli official’s statement that “each and every bullet” fired by security forces during the protests had received authorization from an experienced commander he said the commission found that lethal force had been authorized, “in the majority of cases”, unlawfully.

Israel says the U.N. council is biased, and it boycotted the day-long debate, while hundreds of Israel supporters rallied outside the United Nations in Geneva, including senior U.S. officials.

B’Tselem has issued ahead of the UN. Human Rights Council meeting, a position paper explaining that Israel’s promise to “investigate” 11 incidents in which protesters were killed is mere propaganda.

In a letter, B’Tselem’s director, Hagai El-Ad called upon the head of the commission, Santiago Canton, to reject the tapestry of lies Israel has woven while killing more unarmed protesters: “A real change in Israeli policy will only take place if the international community demands it clearly and unequivocally, and if it stops allowing Israel to do no more than offer hollow promises of ‘investigation’.”

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