Thursday, December 13, 2018

War crimes in Gaza: the international community reaction


By Henry James - April 16, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza] [UN] [US foreign policy] [Hamas]

Human rights activists and NGOs are criticising Israel for its uses of real bullets against peaceful Palestinian protesters during the Great Return March in Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians have gathered to reclaim their right to come back to their land now occupied by Israel.

Israel Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said in a statement on April 8; “there are no innocent people” in the Gaza Strip. Lieberman’s statement comes just days after the Israeli Army killed ten Palestinians and wounded more than 400 people during the protest on Friday April 6, on the border between Gaza and Israel. On the first day of the Great Return March, Friday March 30, 18 Palestinians were killed and 750 others wounded by a bullet.
 
The Defence Minister added in his statement; “everyone [in Gaza] is connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas, and all the activists trying to challenge us and breach the border are Hamas military wing activists.”
 
The talk took place when Israel is facing criticism from Human Rights Organisations, including Israelis, for the use of real bullets during the Great Return March. French NGO Reporters sans frontières (RSF) has condemned “ the Israeli army deliberated shot against journalists”, after the death of a Palestinian photojournalist Yasser Mourtaja, who died after being wounded by Israeli sniper fire.
 
After the 30th March, during which twenty Palestinians were killed, the European Union and United Nations asked to open an independent investigation into the disproportionate use of violence by Israel Defense Forces.
 
Kuwait, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, asked on Friday 6th April, to adopt a declaration calling for retainment in Gaza and independent investigation about the use of live bullets by the Israeli forces, a week after a first attempt in the Council.
 
The United States blocked UN call for investigation into Gaza deaths for the second time.
 
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement that Israel’s action in Gaza could constitute war crime. “It is with grave concern that I note the violence and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the context of recent mass demonstrations,” Bensouda said. “Violence against civilians - in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza – could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”
 
The Great Return protest is planned to last for 6 more weeks, until Nakba Day on the 15th of May.
 

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