Israel’s Response to Gaza Border Riots ‘Wholly Disproportionate’: UN Rights Chief

Palestinian women wave national flags and chant slogans near the Israeli border fence, east of Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, Monday, May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians are protesting near Gaza's border with Israel, as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. …
AP/Adel Hana

Israel’s response to massed, violent attacks across its Gaza border were “wholly disproportionate” and an international investigation must now be convened, the UN human rights chief said.

A special session of the UN Human Rights Council meeting to address the violence heard Friday that more than 100 Gazan lives were allegedly lost in six weeks, prompting Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to warn that “killing resulting from the unlawful use of force by an occupying power may also constitute wilful killings, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

Violations of the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1949 following World War II are commonly called “war crimes”, although Zeid did not explicitly use that word, AFP reports.

“The stark contrast in casualties on both sides is … suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response,” Zeid told the council.

The special UN session comes after six weeks of mass protests and clashes along the Gaza border.

It follows revelations that the bloody protests were led by members of the Hamas terrorist group who instructed women and children to advance to the front row with the promise that the “army doesn’t kill women or children.”

This is in stark contrast to claims made by both the Palestinians and elements of the western media that the so-called March of Return protests are peaceful and civilian-led.

A Hamas official on Wednesday also acknowledged that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during Gaza border riots on Monday and Tuesday were members of the Islamist terrorist group, bringing the total number of known members of terror groups among the fatalities up to 53.

“In the last rounds of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of them were Hamas,” said Hamas official Salah Bardawil in an interview with the Palestinian Baladna news outlet.

The UN council will now consider a draft resolution calling for the urgent dispatch of “an independent, international commission of inquiry” — the UN’s highest-level of investigation.

Zeid said he supported the call for “an investigation that is international, independent and impartial, in the hope the truth regarding these matters will lead to justice.”

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