The United Nation’s Human Rights Council released a report last Friday detailing its investigation into Israeli Security Forces’ (ISF) unlawful conduct and response against civilian protesters in Gaza beginning in March 2018.
The independent international Commission conducted an investigation into the Gaza demonstrations organized by a “Higher National Committee” made up of members of Palestinian society, including civil society, cultural and social organizations, student unions, women’s groups, prominent individuals, members of clans and representatives of several political parties.” The Commission found that many civilians who were not directly participating in the demonstrations were shot and injured by ISF leaving 183 dead and over 6,000 people wounded.
ISF was also found to have thrown stones, cut through separation fences, set off explosive kites and balloons, and used lethal force that was not necessary nor proportionate to the hostilities during the demonstrations. Intentionally killing an individual who is not actively participating in the conflict’s hostilities is considered a war crime. ISF violated international law by targeting civilians based on their political affiliation and not their direct conduct.
The Commission found that Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and de-facto authorities responsible for failing to maintain a right to peaceful assembly and failing to stop material destruction in Israel.