Six United Nations human rights experts have condemned Israel’s use of lethal force against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
”We express our outrage over these shootings that may have resulted in unlawful killings and the incomprehensibly high number of injuries sustained,” the experts stated on Tuesday.
Israeli forces have killed 36 Palestinians in Gaza since 30 March, when the Great March of Return rallies were launched. The six-week protest is set to culminate on 15 May, when Palestinians commemorate the ethnic cleansing of the lands on which the state of Israel was declared in 1948.
At least 28 of those killed, including three children and a journalist marked as a member of the press, were fatally wounded during protests, according to the UN experts.
More than 1,600 protesters have been wounded by Israeli forces, including six journalists, one of whom is being treated in the occupied West Bank for serious injuries.
International law specifically protects #journalists as civilians. Intentional attacks against the #civilian population is a war crime under Article 8(2)(b)(i) of the Rome Statute of the #ICC https://t.co/VqUe1o2hey
— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) April 14, 2018
The experts who condemned Israel’s killing of Gaza protesters include the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the special rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; adequate housing; human rights defenders; and the rights to freedom of assembly and association.
The group reiterated the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s warning to Israeli leaders that the lethal crackdown on protests could constitute crimes liable for prosecution.
Human Rights Watch has stated that the deadly force against the protesters was “planned at the highest levels of the Israeli government.”'
Read more: UN human rights experts condemn Gaza protest killings