Conflicts & War

UN denounces Israel’s use of force as 5,000 reserve soldiers called up

(Update 1: Adds the UN statement and info, details, alters headline, lead)

Geneva/Brussels/Jerusalem, May 11 (EFE).- Israel has unnecessarily and disproportionately used force against Palestinians protesting the possible eviction of Palestinian families from an East Jerusalem neighborhood, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Tuesday amid an uptick of deadly violence in the region.

“Israeli Security Forces must allow and ensure the exercise of the right to freedoms of expression, association and assembly,” the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, said in a statement.

“No force should be used against those exercising their rights peacefully. When use of force is necessary, it should comply fully with international human rights standards. This includes the prohibition of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force,” he added.

“This has not been the case in the past days,” he continued.

The European Commission, meanwhile, called for the immediate de-escalation of the situation and condemned the rocket from Gaza on Israel.

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday approved the mobilization of 5,000 reserve soldiers to face the mounting tension with militants in the Gaza Strip.

From the early hours of Monday, the Islamist Hamas group’s armed wing, the Qasam Brigades, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired a barrage of over 250 rockets into Israel.

Israel carried out airstrikes on the enclave in response, killing at least 22 Palestinians, including nine children, the health ministry in the Gaza Strip said.

It added that hundreds of others had been injured in the strikes, which coincided with some of the worst violence between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem for years.

Two Israeli citizens were killed when rockets fired over from Gaza hit a building in Ashkelon, a spokesman for the United Hatzalah emergency services told Efe.

The Israeli Defense Forces said they struck 130 “terror targets” in the Gaza Strip, including two attack tunnels and a weapons storage and manufacturing site, adding that they had killed 15 Hamas militants.

A military spokesman said 90% of the rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

A number of the rockets were aimed towards Jerusalem, causing the air raid sirens to sound in the city for the first time since 2014.

Hamas, which rules over Gaza, said it was firing the rockets after hundreds of Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces outside the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, the third-holiest site in Islam. It shares the religious compound with Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said late Monday that 395 Palestinian protesters required first aid following the clashes.

One Palestinian man with Israeli citizenship was shot dead during the protests. Local newspaper Haaretz said the alleged assailant, an Israeli citizen, was arrested Tuesday.

On Monday, an Israeli nationalists’ march to mark Jerusalem Day — originally scheduled to pass through Muslim areas of the Old City — had to be rerouted over fears the parade would be targeted.

Jerusalem Day commemorates Israel’s 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.

Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of a potential future independent state, but Israel views the whole of the city as its own “eternal and indivisible” capital.

Related Articles

Back to top button