UN expert condemns Israeli killing of Palestinians

By Bayram Altug

GENEVA (AA) – The UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory condemned on Tuesday the massacre of seven peaceful Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli security forces and the wounding of over 200 more.

Seven Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army last week while they were taking part in ongoing demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Protesters — who have been staging demonstrations since March 30 — demand the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

In written statement, UN human rights expert Michael Lynk said that continued Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters constituted an affront to human rights and dignity.

Lynk emphasized that lethal violence against demonstrators within the context of occupation and without strict justification may amount to “willful killing” on the part of the Israeli forces.

He added that many of the victims did not pose an “imminent threat”.

Lynk described Israeli actions as “a serious violation of international human rights law and its protections for the rights to freedom of expression and assembly".

He called for a “comprehensive investigation” by the UN Commission of Inquiry into the deaths and injuries in Gaza over the past six months.