Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 18 killed in Abidjan floods from heavy rains

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's anti-Merkel Twitter tirade

Read more

THE DEBATE

Ten days to save Merkel? German leader under pressure over border policy

Read more

FOCUS

Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more

ENCORE!

Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Violence against trangender women in Indonesia, and more

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

Read more

Middle East

UN votes to send international war crimes probe to Gaza

© Fabrice Coffrini / AFP | UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein attends a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the human rights situation in Gaza, after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians, on May 18, 2018.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-05-19

The UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to send a team of international war crimes investigators to investiage the deadly shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli forces.

With 29 votes in favour, two opposed and 14 abstentions, the UN's top human rights body voted through a resolution calling on the council to "urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry... to investigate all alleged violations and abuses... in the context of the military assaults on large scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018".

The special session of the Human Rights Council was convened after the bloodiest day for Palestinians in years last Monday, when 60 were killed by Israeli gunfire during demonstrations that Israel said included attempts to breach its frontier fence.

The session received a draft resolution put forward by Pakistan and other Muslim countries that included a call for the council to dispatch an "independent, international commission of inquiry".

John Zarocostas reports from Geneva

Top human rights official, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, spoke in Geneva on Friday saying, "There is little evidence of any attempt to minimise casualties on Monday."

Some demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, used sling-shots, flew burning kites into Israel, and attempted to use wire-cutters on border fences, but "these actions alone do not appear to constitute the imminent threat to life or deadly injury which could justify the use of lethal force", Zeid added.

He said that "the stark contrast in casualties on both sides is also suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response".

'A wholly disproportionate response,' says UN

Israel and the United States have repeatedly accused the 47-member council of anti-Israel bias.

Israeli ambassador Aviva Raz Schechter said Friday's session and the call for a commission of inquiry "are yet again politically motivated and won't improve the situation on the ground by even one iota".

"The loss of life could have been avoided had Hamas refrained from sending terrorists to attack Israel under the cover of the riots, while exploiting its own civilian population as human shields," she said. "It is Israel, certainly not Hamas, which makes a real effort to minimise casualties among Palestinian civilians."

"It is regrettable that so many member states allow themselves to be misled by the false narrative of so-called peaceful protests," Schechter added.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-05-18

  • EGYPT

    Egypt's president announces Gaza crossing open for Ramadan

    Read more

  • PALESTINE - ISRAEL

    Nakba Day marks the loss that Palestinians feel daily

    Read more

  • United Nations

    US blocks call for independent Gaza inquiry at UN: diplomats

    Read more

COMMENT(S)