Israel's Gaza response 'wholly disproportionate' - UN rights chief

The UN human rights chief says Israel used "wholly disproportionate" force against Palestinian border protests which have left over 100 people dead.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein told a meeting in Geneva that Gazans were effectively "caged in a toxic slum" and Gaza's occupation by Israel had to end.

Israel's ambassador said Gaza's militant Islamist rulers had deliberately put people in harm's way.

The UN meeting is considering calling for an independent investigation.

Some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces on Monday on the seventh consecutive week of border protests, largely orchestrated by Hamas, which politically controls the Gaza Strip.

It was the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war between Israel and militants there.

The UN human rights chief says Israel used "wholly disproportionate" force against Palestinian border protests which have left over 100 people dead.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein told a meeting in Geneva that Gazans were effectively "caged in a toxic slum" and Gaza's occupation by Israel had to end.

Israel's ambassador said Gaza's militant Islamist rulers had deliberately put people in harm's way.

The UN meeting is considering calling for an independent investigation.

Some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces on Monday on the seventh consecutive week of border protests, largely orchestrated by Hamas, which politically controls the Gaza Strip.

It was the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 war between Israel and militants there.

'Anti-Israel obsession'

Mr Zeid told the emergency session on Gaza that the "stark contrast in casualties on both sides is... suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response" by Israel.

An Israeli soldier was "reportedly wounded, slightly, by a stone" on Monday, he said, while 43 Palestinians were killed at the site of the protests. Seventeen more Palestinians were killed away from what he called the "hot spots".

He said there had been "little evidence of any [Israeli] attempt to minimise casualties". Israel's actions might, he said, "constitute 'wilful killings' - a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention", an international law designed to protect civilians under occupation.

Mr Zeid said he supported a call for an "international, independent and impartial" investigation into the violence in Gaza, adding that "those responsible for violations must in the end be held accountable".

Israel's Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter rejected the blame, saying Israel had done everything possible to avoid harming civilians.

She said the UN Human Rights Council had returned to its "worst form of anti-Israel obsession".

"This special session, the resolution before you, and its call for a commission of inquiry are yet again politically motivated and won't change the situation on the ground by even one iota," she said.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have held weekly protests at the border in the lead-up to the 15 May anniversary of the mass displacement of Palestinians from land which became Israel in the war which followed Israel's founding in 1948.

While most Palestinians have demonstrated at a distance from the heavily guarded fence, Israel said its soldiers only used lethal force against people carrying out "terrorist activity and not on demonstrators".

Read more news of London on our site.

bbc.com
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

Society
The U.S. and President Donald Trump has slapped a 15 per cent tariff on all steel and aluminum it receives from Canada, and if that rises to 25 per cent as has been threatened, it will cost more for the city to build its bridges and buildings with steel from the U.S. “We are trying to estimate a worst-case scenario,” said city treasurer Anna Lisa Barbon. “If there is a significant tariff increase, what impact would it have?” While the tariff is on steel sh...
Society
A teenage girl was raped in broad daylight in an east London park, police have said. The Met's child abuse and sexual offences command is investigating the attack, which happened in West Ham Park on Tuesday. The female victim was attacked by a man close to the entrance opposite FairlandRoad, Scotland Yard said. It happened at about 4pm. No arrests have yet been made. West Ham Park, which dates back to the 16th century,is run by the City of London Corporati...
Society
The number of homes in London will need to rise by a quarter within 25 years to cope with its rising population,official figures showed today. In a dramatic indication of the scale of the challenge, the Office for National Statistics said an extra 844,000 new households will be formed here by 2041 if current trends continue. That amounts to a 24 per cent increase on the existing total and would give London — which now has about 3.4 million households — a n...
Society
Earlier this summer, Yoshua Bengio, the McGill-based Artificial Intelligence pioneer and one of the world’s leading authorities on neural networks and machine-learning, added his name to a growing global list of experts and laboratories in the field that are pledging to have no role in the creation of what are called “lethal autonomous weapons” (LAWs). The signatories’ premise is as benign as it is unsound: that machines must never be given the authority t...
Society
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he cannot be sure when Crossrail will be complete. Mr Khan said he will talk about a revised timetable at some stage, but only when he has confidence in it. It was announced on August 31 that the capital's new east-west railway would open in autumn 2019 rather than December this year. Mr Khan previously revealed that he only learned of Crossrail's delay two days before the announcement. The mayor was asked on BBC Radio L...
Society
Just weeks into a new school year, Western University and its roughly 1,650 faculty members are locked in a contractdispute, with faculty taking a strike vote among its members. But if there’s potential for labour disruption, it’s news to many students still easing into their new academic routines. “We literally had no clue,” said Melissa Trueman, a fifth year student at the university. “Students are trying to accomplish a goal but they can’t do it if thei...
Society
A large group of Uber Eats drivers blocked a road in east London today as they staged a protest over pay. Protesters said it was a spontaneous show of action against the company, as drivers claimed rates for every delivery had been reduced without it being agreed first. An Uber Eats spokesman said the firm has made changes to its payment structure in London in response to feedback from couriers. "As we transition to the new system, we're introducing minimu...
Crime
A gunman has open fired on a north London street, leaving two injured and reported holes in a taxi window. Armed police were deployed to Islington on Thursday evening, at about 9.30pm, after witnesses reported hearing gun shots and people running from the area. The suspect then fled the scene, on Essex Road, police said. Officers found two people – a 34-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man – suffering from minor injuries. The woman, police added, was taken...
Society
A businessman and his family were targeted in an arson attack which police are treating as a suspected race hate crime. Mac Karlekar, 44, and his wife and 15-year-old son fled their home in Orpington after their hedge was set on fire. Mr Karlekar has told how he was woken up in the early hours of the morning by neighbours, who were alerted by the “uncontrollable” barking of their dog Maggie. The neighbours opened their window and saw the blaze, then they c...