Nearly 60 Palestinians were killed at mass border protests on Monday, 21 May because of Israeli firing into Hamas-ruled Gaza. Following this, the UN has voted to send an international war crimes probe to Gaza. The resolution condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians”. The council voted through the resolution with 29 in favour while two opposed and 14 states abstained. The “independent, international commission of inquiry” mandated by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March.
Israel condemned the resolution, while the United States decried it as an example of a biased focus on Israel by the council. Both lamented that the resolution didn't mention about the Hamas rulers of Gaza, whom Israel blames for the violence.
Zeid al-Hussein, the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, slammed Israel's reaction to protests along the border as “wholly disproportionate”.
In a vigorous speech, he slammed the “appalling” recent events in Gaza and called for the occupation of Palestine by Israel to end. He said that 1.9 million people living in Gaza had been denied human rights by Israeli authorities and described those living in the Palestinian enclave as “caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; dehumanised by the Israeli authorities to such a point it appears officials do not even consider that these men and women have a right, as well as every reason, to protest”.
He compared the Palestinians' use of Molotov cocktails, slingshots and burning kites against the “horrifying and criminal violence” with which they were met. “The stark contrast in casualties on both sides is suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response. Killings resulting from the unlawful use of force by an occupying power may also constitute 'wilful killings' – a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he told the UN council.
The vote for the said investigation came days after Israeli forces shot and killed 59 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests along the Gaza border on the day the US officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem.
Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE: Independent.co.uk).