The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to immediately dispatch a team of international experts to Gaza to determine whether Israel had committed war crimes by shooting Palestinian protesters who were participating in the Great March of Return.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva “There is little evidence of any attempt to minimize casualties on Monday.”
Israeli snipers killed at least 62 Palestinians and wounded over 2,700 at mass border protests on Monday, the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel, and the grand opening of the illegally-moved U.S. embassy in the disputed territory of East Jerusalem, which has long been the intended capital of an independent Palestinian state under the now less likely two-state solution.
The Independent reports: The council voted through the resolution by 29 in favour and two opposed, while 14 states abstained.
The resolution also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.”
Israel condemned the resolution, which was put forward by a group of countries including Pakistan. The United States decried it as an example of a biased focus on Israel by the council.
Both lamented that it didn’t mention Gaza’s Hamas rulers, whom Israel predictably blames for the violence, as they always immediately turn to this tired refrain for any other deadly acts of excessive violent aggression by the occupying Israeli forces upon an unarmed, subjugated civilian population.
Hamas can turn anything into a weapon of terror. pic.twitter.com/7v8RmGfN4o
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 15, 2018
In their relentless propaganda campaign to paint murderous IDF soldiers as heroes for “defending Israel” against the Hamas “terrorists,” they have gone so far as to absurdly portray Palestinian children as Hamas’ “weapon(s) of terror” in a recent Twitter infographic (pictured right), which also includes other hilariously ridiculous “threats” such as “arson kites,” “disabled civilians,” and “rope tied to fence” that necessitate an equivalent, justifiable response of blowing away children and amputees with live exploding ammunition (known as “dum dums,” which are internationally banned as a war crime) and dispatching drones to rain down retributive canisters of tear gas, classified as a chemical weapon by the UN.
To say the least, if the United States was consistent in its foreign policy, it should be launching Tomahawk missiles at weapons facilities in Tel Aviv in response for using chemical weapons against civilians.
The “independent, international commission of inquiry” mandated by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March.
In a vigorous speech, Mr Zeid slammed the “appalling” recent events in Gaza and called for the occupation of Palestine by Israel to end.
He said the 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”.
“They are, in essence, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; dehumanized 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 said.
The vote for an investigation came days after Israeli forces shot and killed 62 Palestinians — 7 of whom were children younger than 18, the youngest only 8 months old — and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests along the Gaza border on the day the US officially opened its new embassy in East Jerusalem, also the 70th anniversary of Israeli Independence Day.
Mr Zeid said that under international law, Israel was obligated to protect the population of Gaza and ensure their welfare, “but there is little evidence of any attempt to minimize casualties,” he added.
The human rights chief stated that at least 118 Palestinians, including 15 children, have been killed since the “March of Return” protests began on March 30. He said the number continues to climb as some of the critically injured eventually succumb to their wounds.
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 ‘willful killings’ – a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he told the UN council.
* This article was expanded from the original report published at YourNewsWire.