Two Palestinians Shot Dead by Israeli Forces in Gaza

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire following protests along the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel, the enclave’s health ministry has announced.

The health ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qudra, told AFP the two men, aged 18 and 29, were shot in separate incidents during a resumption of protests along the fractious border. He did not announce their identities.

The news comes amid calls from the top UN human rights body for the UN human rights chief to strengthen her office’s presence in Palestinian areas. This follows an investigation that found Israeli soldiers may have committed war crimes in a deadly response to Gaza protests last year.

UN investigators concluded that Israel has committed serious human rights violations by shooting at unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza over the past year.

The Human Rights Council made the request to increase the monitoring presence in a resolution that passed 23-8 with 15 abstentions, a vote loaded with political implications that quickly drew accusations of bias from the Israeli government.

Five central and eastern European countries joined Australia, Fiji, and Brazil opposing the measure. Britain and many EU countries abstained.

At least 252 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during the weekly border protests, while others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza.

The weekly protests, dubbed the Great Return March, have been taking place for nearly a year. Palestinians have gathered along the fence separating Gaza from Israel, for non-violent marches to demand an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza and the right for Palestinians to return to their homes lost since Israel’s creation in 1948.

Source: Palestine Chronicle