Israel slams ‘absurd’ UN report suggesting potential war crimes against Gaza protesters

Israel slams ‘absurd’ UN report suggesting potential war crimes against Gaza protesters
Tel Aviv has fired back at a UN report alleging that Israeli forces may have committed war crimes when they killed dozens of Palestinian demonstrators during Gaza border protests last year, describing the claim as “absurd.”

Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a statement that the UN Human Rights Council had “produced another hostile, mendacious and slanted report against the State of Israel ... No one can deny Israel the right of self-defense and the obligation to defend its citizens and borders from violent attacks.

He dismissed the report’s findings as “theatre of the absurd.”

The UN inquiry, which released its findings on Thursday, concluded that Palestinian demonstrators “did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities.”

The commission said Israel’s use of live fire during last year’s protests was unlawful, while also calling on Palestinians to cease the use of incendiary kites and balloons. The findings will be forwarded to the International Criminal Court. Some 189 Palestinians were killed and 6,100 more were wounded during the “Great March of the Return,” a protest movement that snowballed at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip in March 2018.

Protesters demanded an end to the decade-long siege imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt.

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