International, Arab outcry over Israeli violence against Land Day demonstrators

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read
A picture taken on March 30, 2018 from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border from the Gaza strip shows Palestinians participating in a tent city protest commemorating Land Day, with Israeli soldiers seen below in the foreground. Land Day marks the killing of six Arab Israelis during 1976 demonstrations against Israeli confiscations of Arab land. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters has triggered a global rejection amid calls from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for an independent and transparent investigation into the killings along the Gaza border on Land Day.

In their urgent meeting to discuss the updates of the situation in Palestine, Arab permanent representatives to the UN stressed on Tuesday the necessity of taking the needed measures to form an international committee to investigate the incident, as well as ensuring the possibility of taking action against Israeli officials who called for the use of live ammunition against Palestinian demonstrations.

They also backed the Palestinian request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) demanding an investigation into the “Israeli crimes against civilians.”

Last week, Palestinians declared a mass strike, as well as a national mourning after Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians during the Land Day marches, dubbed the Great Return March, close to Gaza’s borders with Israel. The mass strike included all commercial and educational institutions including schools and universities, as well as banks.

More than 1,500 Gazans were wounded after Israeli forces fired live ammunition and used tear gas against protesters who were commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Land Day, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report that senior Israeli officials who “unlawfully called for use of live ammunition against Palestinian demonstrations who posed no imminent threat to life bear responsibility for the killings of 14 demonstrators in Gaza and the injuring of hundreds on 30 March 2018.”

The HRW’s report illustrated that the Israeli government presented no evidence that rock-throwing and other violence by some demonstrators seriously threatened Israeli soldiers across the border fence.

“Israeli soldiers were not merely using excessive force; but were apparently acting on orders that all but ensured a bloody military response to the Palestinian demonstrations,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. He added, “the result was foreseeable deaths and injuries of demonstrators on the other side of a border who posed no imminent threat to life.”

Moreover, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki said the Palestinians have two options for moving forward in the UN after the Gaza incident. He said that the first option is to request the UN Secretary General form an international committee to investigate into “the Israeli massacres” in Gaza.

The second option is to file a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for providing international protection for the Palestinian people. But Al-Malki predicted that the US will block such a proposal.

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