Rights groups call for referring Israelis involved in deliberate killings of Gaza protesters to courts

GENEVA, Israeli leaders and soldiers involved in possible war crimes and crimes against humanity while disproportionately responding by excessive force to Palestinian protesters near the Gaza-Israel separation fence must be held to account, said Solidarite Suisse Guinee and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) in an oral statement delivered before representatives and ambassadors of member states at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) 40th session on Monday.

Israel has violated the principles of international human rights law by using live and explosive bullets and poisonous gas canisters to disperse civilians, journalists and medical crews around the Gaza fence, killing 256 civilians, including 38 children, as well as causing 69 permanent disabilities, and further exacerbated the already unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Strip, the two organizations stressed.

Pointing to the serious and unprecedented deterioration in all aspects of life in Gaza made possible by the devastating 13-year-long Israel-imposed blockade, the two organizations highlighted the negative impact on the wounded in a health sector characterized by poor infrastructure and severe shortage of medicine and equipment needed to conduct surgeries and treat critical injuries.

Drawing on the recommendations by the UN Commission of Inquiry into the latest Gaza events, which documented Israeli forces’ deliberate use of lethal force, the two organizations called on the UNHRC and Member States to proceed with the legal process of referring to the competent courts the perpetrators of such crimes and to ensure that they do not continue to enjoy impunity for the killing, maiming and injuring of victims under the Rome Statute.

Concluding their oral statement, the two organizations called on the Council and Member States to exert greater effort to immediately and unconditionally lift the Israeli blockade on the impoverished Strip.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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