IQNA

18:57 - February 28, 2019
News ID: 3468026
TEHRAN (IQNA) – A UN Human Rights Council-mandated investigation into Israel's deadly crackdown on the 2018 anti-occupation rallies in the Gaza Strip said the regime’s forces may have perpetrated “war crimes” or “crimes against humanity”in the campaign against Palestinians.

 

In a statement released on Thursday, Santiago Canton, chair of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said Israeli soldiers have breached international human rights during the Gaza unrest.

“Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity,” the statement read, according to Press TV.

Tensions erupted in Gaza in March 30, 2018, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

The violence left 189 Palestinians dead and more than 6,100 others injured between March 30 and December 31, 2018.

Elsewhere in its statement, the UN probe said that over 6,000 unarmed demonstrators had been shot by Israeli military snipers at protest sites.

There were reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli troops killed and wounded Palestinians “who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an imminent threat,” it added.

“The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.”

It further stressed that Gaza protesters “were civilian in nature” and that the demonstrations “did not constitute combat or military campaigns.”

It also complained that Israeli authorities had not responded to the UN inquiry's repeated requests for information and access to the occupied lands.

The inquiry's statement is based on 325 interviews with victims, witnesses and other sources as well as reviews of over 8,000 documents, drone footage and other audiovisual material.

Israel irate

The UN probe’s statement infuriated Israel, with Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz calling it “hostile, deceitful and biased.”

“Israel rejects the report outright,” he said.

Gaza has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.

The Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on the coastal enclave under the pretext of hitting positions belonging to the Hamas resistance movement.

Tags: IQNA ، Gaza ، Israel ، UN
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