UN decides to step up human rights monitoring at Gaza protests





Geneva - The UN Human Rights Council decided Friday to increase the presence of UN monitors in the Gaza strip, after a report found that Israel's shooting of Palestinian protestors could amount to crimes against humanity.



 
The Geneva-based Council passed a resolution that "condemns the apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force by Israel (...)."
The UN body decided to deploy five UN human rights officers to monitor "ongoing violations" amid the protests.
More than 260 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured since the so-called "Great March of Return" protests in Gaza began on March 30 last year, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
A UN human rights report that was submitted to the Human Rights Council only focused on these casualties, but also acknowledged that the protest organizers, including Hamas militants, encouraged the use of incendiary flying objects that caused extensive damage and fear in southern Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the report, accusing Hamas of terrorist activities at the protests at the Gaza-Israeli border, and of firing rockets at Israel.
The resolution passed with the support of 23 mostly Arab and developing countries. Eight countries including Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine opposed the decision. Other European countries were among the 15 abstentions.

 


Friday, March 22nd 2019
(dpa)
           


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