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Israel killing of Palestine children in Gaza protests amounts to ‘war crimes’

Palestinians carry the dead body of Faris Hafez al-Sarasawi, 12 years old Palestinian child who was killed by Israeli forces in "Great March of Return" demonstrations, during his funeral ceremony in Shuja'iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, Gaza on October 06, 2018 [Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians carry the dead body of Faris Hafez al-Sarasawi, 12 years old Palestinian child who was killed by Israeli forces in "Great March of Return" demonstrations, during his funeral ceremony in Shuja'iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, Gaza on October 06, 2018 [Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces have killed Palestinian children during protests in the occupied Gaza Strip in “conduct amounting to war crimes”, according to a report submitted to a United Nations inquiry by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) and the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.

The 57-page report was given to investigators working as part of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), established during a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in May 2018.

According to a statement released Tuesday, the DCIP-CUNY report “provides background and context to mass protests in Gaza, highlights Israeli forces’ unlawful killing of Palestinian child protesters, and details serious violations of international law by Israeli forces”.

Of the 56 Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the OPT during 2018, the report states, “a total of 44 children were killed in the Gaza Strip”.

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“In the overwhelming majority of cases, DCIP was able to confirm children did not present any imminent, mortal threat or threat of serious injury when killed by Israeli forces”, the statement added.

The report concludes “Israeli forces and officials are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law for the killing of Palestinian child protesters in Gaza”, the statement concluded.

“Israeli armed forces have regularly been implicated in widespread and systematic human rights violations against Palestinian children, yet systemic impunity is the norm,” said Brad Parker, Senior Adviser, Policy and Advocacy at DCIP.

“The Commissioners must pursue accountability by analysing alleged violations of international criminal law falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and naming perpetrators”.

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