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Palestine UN envoy slams Israel’s killing of Palestinians, demands swift UNSC action

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour speaks to reporters before emergency Security Council consultations on the situation in the Gaza Strip, on March 30, 2018 at United Nations headquarters, New York. (Photo by AP)

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN has strongly condemned the recent killing of three Palestinian protesters by the Israeli regime, demanding that the UN Security Council (UNSC) take immediate action to ensure the rights of Palestinians are protected.

Riyad Mansour made the comments at a press conference in New York on Friday, a few hours after Israeli troopers attacked Palestinian demonstrators in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing three and wounding more than 880 others during an anti-occupation protest on the fifth Friday of a six-week protest, known as the “Great March of Return.”

“We will not leave a stone unturned. We have the right to demonstrate peacefully, to express our views and the large crowd of this week in Gaza -- larger than last week -- is a demonstration that the Palestinian people in a civilized, peaceful way, are expressing their opinion in the Gaza Strip, and they do not deserve to receive bullets for doing so,” added the Palestinian envoy at the presser.

On April 20, four more Palestinian protesters, including a 15-year-old teenage boy, sustained fatal injuries in clashes with Israeli soldiers during anti-occupation protests along the border between the blockaded sliver and occupied territories.  

"Shame" on "those cowards who are hiding behind the hills and armed to the teeth, protected to the teeth with high velocity rifles to use them as snipers against civilians... They are the cowards who are facing defenseless civilians and killing them as one would go hunting in the open fields,” Mansour added.

The recent deadly attack on Palestinian protesters came just hours after the UN human rights chief criticized Tel Aviv for using “excessive force” against demonstrators.

Protests along the Gaza border since March 30 have led to clashes with Israeli troops, leaving at least 38 Palestinians dead and thousands of others wounded.

The Palestinian demonstrations will last until May 15, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) when Israel was created.  

Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold protests to commemorate Nakba Day, which also marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by the Israeli regime in 1948.

Arms embargo against Israel required: Amnesty

Meanwhile, Amnesty International called for a global arms embargo against Israel, accusing its troops of committing war crime in the Gaza Strip by carrying out “murderous assaults” against Palestinians.

“The Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5,500 others – some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries – during the weekly Friday protests that began on 30 March,” the UK-based rights group added.

Amnesty, citing the medical staff in Gaza City, added that many of the wounds seen are serious injuries to the lower limbs, which are typical of war wounds observed during the 2014 Gaza war.

“For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas. Despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy regional director at Amnesty International.

She added that the international community must act strongly and put an end to the delivery of arms and military equipment to the Israeli regime, warning that inaction would “continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza.”

The Tel Aviv regime occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and parts of Syria’s Golan Heights during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Israel is required to withdraw from all the territories seized in the war under UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted months after the Six-Day War, in November 1967, but the Tel Aviv regime remains defiant.

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