A UN report, written on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, into alleged human rights violations by Israeli soldiers during the 2018 Gaza strip protests has been rejected outright by Israel's government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "The council sets new records of hypocrisy and lies, out of obsessive hatred of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East."
Israel's foreign ministry spokesman accused the Human Rights Council of being "a de facto accomplice of Hamas."
The report, authored by a team of Argentinian, Bangladeshi and Kenyan representatives, found that Israeli soldiers "committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."
A total of 189 Palestinians were killed and more than 9,000 were injured during separate Israeli crackdowns on border demonstrators between March and December last year, the commission that authored the report said. The commission said it found only two incidents — one in May and one in October, when Israeli troops were within their rights to use live ammunition.
The commission said it took note of the Israel's assertion that the protests masked "terror activities" by Palestinian armed groups, and also that some demonstrators were members of armed groups. However, it concluded the demonstrations were "civilian in nature", with clearly stated political aims, and that despite some acts of significant violence they did not constitute combat or military campaigns. That meant Israeli forces were required to operate according to the international legal framework applicable to police and other law enforcement officials, which is part of international human rights law.
"More than 6,000 demonstrators were shot by military snipers," the commission wrote, adding that some soldiers "intentionally" shot children, journalists and people with disabilities. Many young persons' lives have been altered forever. 112 people have had a limb amputated … 20 of these amputees are children." The inquiry found that some of these alleged violations could amount to "war crimes" or "crimes against humanity" and has called on Israel to investigate.
Sara Hossain, a Bangladeshi lawyer and a member of the commission, said: "We are saying that they have intentionally shot children. They have intentionally shot people with disabilities. They have intentionally shot journalists. A double amputee in a wheelchair, a person using crutches... they have been shot at by snipers, who also have spotters available with them who have very high-level technology to see who is out there in the field."