The Palestinian presidency yesterday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to immediately open an investigation into Israel’s war crimes against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip.
The call came after a United Nations (UN) Independent Commission of Inquiry said yesterday that Israeli army troops may have committed crimes against humanity in shooting unarmed Palestinian civilians; including children during the “Great March of Return” protests.
In a statement, the Palestinian presidency welcomed the UN commission’s report, saying “it confirms what we have always said that Israel is committing war crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem”.
The presidency stressed that “time has come to hold Israel accountable for these crimes and not to allow it to remain a state above the law.”
The UN report said “Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
The report concluded that it had found grounds to believe that Israeli snipers have fired on journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities during the Gaza demonstrations.
More than 265 Palestinians have been killed in the near-daily demonstrations near the Gaza-Israel fence during their participation in the “Great March of Return” to demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees and to lift the 12-year Israeli blockade on Gaza.