UN Human Rights Council to Investigate Possible War Crimes in Gaza Protest Shooting
During a special session on Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council enacted a resolution that allows the international body to send a commission to the Gaza Strip to investigate human rights violations.
Only the U.S. and Australia were against the resolution draft, with 29 countries supporting the draft and 14 abstaining.
According to the resolution, the investigation must be carried out in the context of the military strikes against civilians that began March 30. The probe will also look to see if any war crimes were committed.
The U.N. resolution condemned the use of excessive violence by Jewish state troops during peaceful protests in the Gaza Strip. UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein condemned Israel for its systematic abuse of Palestinians, including 1.9 million “caged in a toxic slum from birth to death” in Gaza, as he voiced his support for the U.N. independent inquiry into the killings.
More than 100 Palestinian protesters have died, and as many as 12,000 have been wounded by Israeli troops since the anti-occupation protests started on March 30. Around 60 Palestinians died on May 14 when the U.S. officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem.
Israel snubs the UN investigation while general says otherwise
As predicted, Israel stated on Friday that they would refuse to cooperate with the U.N. in their investigation of the Nakba Day shooting that killed 61 Palestinians at the Gaza Border. The tragedy was the deadliest single day since the 2014 Israeli invasion.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely stated that Israel will not cooperate, and blamed the U.N. for unfairly backing the Palestinian Sunni-Islamist organization Hamas instead of respecting Israel’s right to defend against terrorism.
“We have no intention of cooperating with an international investigative committee that wants to dictate results without a connection to facts,” Hotovely tweeted.
Former Israeli Brigadier-General Zvika Fogel described in a radio interview last month how the Netanyahu administration ordered the shooting of Palestinian children. Killing Palestinians is seen as “a responsibility to protect and defend Israelis” rather than a crime against humanity.
“To my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder, it goes even higher. The picture is not a pretty picture. But … that’s the price that we have to pay to preserve the safety and quality of life of the residents of the State of Israel,” Fogel said.
“When Israeli troops shoot children, they do it deliberately and under specific orders,” the former general continued.
On Friday, an Israeli sniper shot and killed 14-year-old boy Mahmoud Ibrahim Ayoub. The incident drew international condemnation, including from the usually-quiet United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, who publicly called for an investigation into the incident.