The UN has voted to send an international war crimes probe to Gaza after the body’s leading human rights official slammed Israel‘s reaction to protests along the border as “wholly disproportionate.”
Israeli firing into Hamas-ruled Gaza killed nearly 60 Palestinians at mass border protests on Monday.
“There is little evidence of any attempt to minimise casualties on Monday,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“Palestinians are, in essence, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; dehumanized by the Israeli authorities to such a point it appears officials do not even consider that these men and women have a right, as well as every reason, to protest,” Zeid said.
“I therefore endorse calls made by many states and observers for an investigation that is international, independent, and impartial—in the hope the truth regarding these matters will lead to justice.”
The inclusion of east Jerusalem into the probe’s mandate implies that the US opening of its embassy in Jerusalem this week could also be included in the investigation.
Israel condemned the resolution, which was put forward by a group of countries including Pakistan. The United States decried it as an example of a biased focus on Israel by the council.