Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Arab League Chief Wants International Court To Probe Gaza Killings

Arab League Chief Wants International Court To Probe Gaza Killings
Gerardo Duncan | 06 April, 2018, 10:57

In the run-up to the protests last week, Israel deployed thousands of troops along the fraught border, vowing to use deadly force against anyone who threatened Israel's "security infrastructure".

In the past several days, groups of young Gazans have been collecting old tires around the Strip and bringing them to the border.

The IDF said its troops have used live fire only against people trying to sabotage the border fence or rolling burning tires and throwing rocks. They also accuse Israel of using the blockade to advance political aims, such as deepening a separation of Gaza from the West Bank, both sought for a future Palestinian state.

At least 16 Palestinians have been killed till now in the on-going clashes at the Gaza border.

The head of the Arab League says his organization wants the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate the deaths last week of 18 Palestinians during protests near Gaza's border with Israel.

Israel has accused Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group, of exploiting Gaza's civilians for its political gains by sending them to the unsafe border area. Israel-Palestinian peace talks have been frozen since 2014.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 1,500 Palestinian demonstrators have been injured - many seriously - over the same period.

Critics say the blockade has backfired by largely harming Gaza civilians, while leaving Hamas solidly in control.

Sixteen Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli snipers on the opening day of "The Great March of Return", two others killed in shelling, and two others have been killed along the border in the week since, including one killed in an air strike early on Thursday.

"Hamas is playing with fire and that the IDF will not allow this to happen every week", he said.

Israel's military spokesman, Brig. "It knows exactly what it is doing". The terrorist was armed and apparently on his way to attempt to cross the fence. Israeli officials have said soldiers in the border area had orders to target the "main instigators" and those who approach the border. He cited incidents in the past where border infiltrations led to the kidnapping of soldiers and terrorist attacks on Israeli soil.

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said he was following rhetoric and preparations for Friday's planned march "with concern".

The Palestinians' ambassador at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, appealed to the U.N. Security Council for immediate worldwide protection for Palestinian civilians, especially in Gaza.

A leading Israeli rights group, B'Tselem, issued a rare appeal to Israeli soldiers to refuse "grossly illegal" orders to fire at unarmed protesters.

He explained that the strategy of Hamas was very clear. The committee includes independent activists as well as Hamas representatives. The demonstration's organizing committee opposes it, concerned that tire-burning will mar the protest.

"I'm against it", said Wijdan Hassanain, 45, as she bottle-fed her grandchild while watching demonstrators near the fence at a spot in northeastern Gaza. Gen. Ronen Manelis told reporters on Thursday that intelligence suggested that "terror attacks" were planned when the protests are again expected to swell on Friday. Palestinians revere brethren killed in the conflict with Israel as martyrs.

"Have a good day".

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