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Palestinians mowed down by Israel as world just watched

8th Jun 2018
Palestinians mowed down by Israel as world just watched

Grandmum of 8-month-old Palestinian Leila Anwar Ghandoour mourns with her family. The baby died from tear gas inhalation in Gaza on May 15.

(Photo: Mustafa Hassona/AA)

Hamed Chapman

The British Government had the ignominy of being among countries refusing to support an independent investigation into Israel’s latest massacre of Palestinians protesting against being denied to return to their homeland for 70 years.

The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to set up an international commission of inquiry but the UK with 12 other members abstained despite Prime Minister, Theresa May, saying there was “an urgent need to establish the facts of what happened yesterday through an independent and transparent investigation.”

“The substance of the resolution was not impartial and it was unbalanced. We could not support an investigation that refused to explicitly examine the action of non-state actors such as Hamas,” Middle East Minister, Alistair Burt, insisted in Parliament after Labour called for an emergency debate.

“We call directly on Israel to carry out a transparent inquiry into the Israeli Defence Forces’ conduct at the border fence and to demonstrate how this will achieve a sufficient level of independence,” Burt suggested instead.

Some 62 unarmed Palestinian civilians were mowed down in the massacre and hundreds more were wounded at the culmination of the anniversary of al-Nakba, the day of the Palestinian Catastrophe on May 14.

Ashraf al-Qedra, Spokesperson for the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, reported that Israeli soldiers massacred a total of 112 Palestinians and injured 13,190 since the Great Return March protests started on March 30.

Over 500 Palestinians were shot in the head and neck, 283 in the chest and back, 225 in the abdomen and pelvis and more than 1,200 in the arms or legs.

Among those killed were 13 Palestinian children. Another 2,096 Palestinian children were injured. More than 1,000 women were also wounded. Medics were also targeted by the Israelis with one killed and 323 injured with live fire and gas bombs. Damage was also caused to 37 ambulances.

Despite the scale of the indiscriminate killings and shootings of Palestinian civilians, the UK refused to condemn the Israeli regime. Instead, like the perpetrator, the British Government joined the US in trying to lay blame on Hamas, the effective governing authority of the Palestinians in Gaza, even though not a shot was reported to have been fired in return to the one-sided slaughter.

The ultra-right Government in Washington further provoked the situation by controversially moving its embassy to Jerusalem in defiance of the Holy city’s international status.

Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, ridiculed the British Government’s call to allow Israel to investigate its own war crimes. “If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, I am afraid we should not be remotely surprised. After all, this is the Government that says that Saudi Arabia should be allowed to investigate itself for bombing weddings in Yemen. Time and time again we see this: ‘if you are an ally of the Government, you get away with breaking international law with impunity, and you are also allowed to be your own judge and jury, too,’” she told MPs.

In defence of the British Government, Burt reminded Parliament that Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia as well as Japan also abstained in the UN vote to set up an international commission to investigate the massacre, while only the US and Australia opposed the motion. In contrast to what was criticised by a largely feeble and inadequate response, several organisations including the African Union slammed the killings, while Middle East leaders were among others to decry the blood-letting. Some of the most outspoken criticism came from Jews in several countries, including Yachad in Britain.

In an open statement, Yachid expressed it “dismay” at the reaction by the Board of Deputies of British Jews in failing to criticise Israel. “As active members of the Jewish community and passionate supporters of Israel, we feel let down and deeply misrepresented by your statement which you have made on behalf of the Jewish community. The co-opting of a nonviolent demonstration by Hamas should be condemned and decried, as should their encouragement for otherwise nonviolent protesters to approach the border fence…The statement, however, fails to place any responsibility on Israel for how it polices its borders and deals with the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Among the most vocal was the Muslim countries Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which condemned “in the strongest terms the criminal actions of Israeli forces against the Palestinian people.”  Such acts, it declared, “constitute savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with the backing of the US Administration, including through shielding the Israeli occupation in the UN Security Council from accountability.” These crimes were “committed against the backdrop of the illegal decision by the US Administration to officially move its embassy from Israel to the occupied City of Jerusalem, which has further emboldened the Israeli government in its reckless behaviour towards civilian Palestinian population.”

One Response to “Palestinians mowed down by Israel as world just watched”

B.FynnJune 24, 2018

Arab palestine never existed,they are jordanians and syrians and did not own any land in then territory of palestine. Israel was renamed Palestine in 135 A.D,THIS is the only ever Palestine.

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