One month after a horrific massacre of protesters in the occupied Palestinian territory, global civil society alliance, CIVICUS is urging accountability for the unacceptably high levels of lethal violence employed by Israeli security forces against demonstrations.
Since 30 March 2018, when Palestinians launched a protest campaign against forced evictions, the denial of their right to return to their occupied territories and the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, more than 120 protestors have been killed including children, journalists and health personnel. In addition, more than 12 000 Palestinians have been wounded. On May 14, the deadliest day of the protests, more than 61 Palestinians including 8 children were shot and killed by Israeli forces and nearly 3 000 were wounded in Gaza.
Despite the decision by the UN Human Rights Council on 18 May 2018 to dispatch an independent commission of inquiry to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, Israeli forces are continuing to use unnecessary, indiscriminate and disproportionate force against protesters. This includes exploding bullets, which are designed to inflict maximum damage, in a calculated attempt to kill, maim and inflict serious bodily harm on Palestinian protesters. Palestinian civil society representatives are being prevented from travelling abroad including to UN bodies to expose the atrocities being committed by Israeli forces.
Said Mandeep Tiwana, CIVICUS’ Chief Programmes Officer: “We all bear responsibility for not doing enough to demand an end to the atrocities committed by Israeli security forces.”
“Silence from some states and overt support for Israeli forces’ actions by others is emboldening them to act with impunity and cause massive suffering to the Palestinian community,” said Tiwana.
As Israeli authorities wilfully ignore calls from the international community to exercise restraint against Palestinian protestors, CIVICUS urges civil society around the world to urge their governments to speak out against continuing attacks on Palestinian protesters, demand an end to impunity by Israeli forces and support the commission of inquiry mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate violations in the context of the large scale civilian protests in the occupied Palestinian territory.
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