UN officials condemn “outrageous human rights violation” as Palestinians prepare to bury their dead.
“The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot. It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead. . . . It is not acceptable to say that ‘this is Hamas and therefore this is OK.’”
— Rupert Colville, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman
International condemnation of Israel’s killing of 59 Palestinian protesters in Gaza escalated as thousands rallied in the coastal enclave to bury the dead from the latest round of violence.
The killings took place on Monday during demonstrations at the Gaza border fence, which coincided with a high-profile ceremony to mark the controversial transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the Trump administration that overturned decades of US foreign policy.
As senior UN rights officials condemned the killings as an “outrageous human rights violation” — adding that it appeared anyone approaching the Gaza border fence was liable to be killed by Israeli soldiers — Ireland summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest against the fatalities.
UN security council members Russia and China also expressed their concern over the Israeli military’s latest and most serious killings of largely unarmed protesters on the Gaza border, which witnessed its highest death toll since the Gaza war in 2014.
Most of the Gazans who died on Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry said. According to the Hamas-run ministry, the dead included a baby who died after inhaling teargas along with eight children under the age of 16. At least 2,400 others were wounded.