HRW says Israeli response to Gaza clashes may be a war crime

Human Rights Watch says Israel’s response to deadly clashes on its border with the Gaza Strip may amount to a war crime.

“Israel’s use of lethal force when there was no imminent threat to life has taken a heavy toll in life and limb,” charges Sarah Leah Whitson, the group’s Middle East director.

“The international community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the US blocks international accountability with its Security Council veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives,” she says.

Human Rights Watch calls for a UN inquiry into alleged abuses and says the International Criminal Court should open an investigation. It also says other countries should sanction officials behind alleged human rights violations.

Some 130 Palestinians have died since the weekly clashes began in late March, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. Israel has accused Hamas, the terror strip that rules the Palestinian enclave, of using the violent protests as cover to carry out attacks and breach the border fence.

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