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UN human rights report slams impunity for Israel crimes in Gaza

February 27, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Medics carry an injured Palestinian after Israeli forces shot at protesters during the Great March of Return in Gaza on Friday 17 August 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has issued strong criticism of the lack of accountability for Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip, stating that “impunity continues to prevail”.

According to UN News, the new report was published this week looking at “accountability for alleged violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) since 2008, including during large-scale protests beginning in March 2018 along the Gaza-Israel fence”.

The report, presented by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris, states that Israeli forces killed 131 Palestinians throughout the OPT from November 2018 to October 2019. The fatalities included 23 children.

“Suggesting a lack of accountability for the killing and injuring of civilians,” UN News added, “the report highlights the killing of double-amputee Ibrahim Abu Thoryah on 15 December 2017.”

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“A double amputee in a wheelchair, Abu Thoryah was shot dead with live ammunition to the head,” UN News explained, adding that, according to the report: “There was no indication that Mr. Abu Thoryah had posed an imminent threat of death or serious injury at the moment he was killed.”

“His physical disability must have been clearly visible to the person who shot him, in the front of the head, some 15 to 20 metres from the fence,” the report added.

The human rights report also noted that, 19 months after the start of Great Return March protests, the Israeli military system had delivered only one sentence in relation to “possible unlawful acts” by Israeli forces.

“The persisting lack of accountability for possible unlawful acts committed against Palestinians perpetuates a cycle of impunity that facilitates the occurrence of further violations,” it said.