Israeli Soldiers May Have Committed War Crimes When They Fired On Gaza Protesters, UN Says

Israeli Soldiers May Have Committed War Crimes When They Fired On Gaza Protesters, UN Says

war crimes
Palestinian protesters run for cover from teargas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Friday, May 11, 2018. Gaza activists burned tires near the sealed border with Israel on Friday in a seventh weekly protest aimed at shaking off a decade-old blockade of their territory.(AP Photo/Adel Hana)

According to the United Nations, Israel’s killings at Gaza protests may actually be war crimes.

When Israeli soldiers recently intentionally firing on civilians during Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza, the UN says they may have committed war crimes.

“The independent Commission of Inquiry, set up last year by the UN’s human rights council, said Israeli forces killed 189 people and shot more than 6,100 others with live ammunition near the fence that divides the two territories. The panel said in a statement that it had 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,’” the Guardian reported.

There were 35 children killed along with 3 identifiable paramedics and 2 were clearly marked journalists, the UN report said.

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Israel disagrees with the UN report and called it “hostile, mendacious and slanted”.

Although the UN panel recognized “acts of significant violence” from the demonstrators, who threw stones, molotov cocktails and in some cases explosives at the fence where Israeli troops stood, the panel pointed out the Israeli response was extreme. It said the actions of the protesters did not amount to combat or military campaigns. The UN panel ejected an Israeli claim of “terror activities” by Palestinian armed groups.

“The demonstrations were civilian in nature, with clearly stated political aims,” the UN said.

The reported added:  “These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

The protesters have been going on weekly at the frontier between Israel and the Gaza Strip since March last year. The protesters are demanding an easing of an Israeli blockade on people and goods. Four of Israeli troops have been injured during the protests, and one soldier was killed by a bullet fired from Gaza.