The UN Human Rights Council released a Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Thursday, finding potential crimes against humanity committed by Israel. The report focuses on May 30, 2018-December 31, 2018, when the Gaza protests known as the “Great March of Return and the Breaking of the Siege” were occurring.
During the seven months studied, 6,106 unarmed protesters were shot by military snipers, resulting in 189 Palestinian deaths. “[B]ullet fragmentation, rubber-coated metal bullets or by hits from tear gas canisters” injured an additional 3,098 Palestinians. The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory found 35 of the fatalities were children, three were clearly marked paramedics and two were clearly marked journalists. Four Israeli soldiers were injured at protest sites, and one soldier was killed outside of the protest site. The Commission conducted 325 interviews with witnesses, victims and sources and compiled more than 8,000 documents before releasing their report.
The intentional shooting of a civilian, unless in self defense, is a war crime and the Commission found reasonable grounds to find the actions of Israeli military may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
In a press release, Sara Hossain, a representative on the Commission from Bangladesh said: “There can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them. Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities.”