Head of UN inquiry into Israeli massacres of Palestine protesters resigns
The head of a United Nations commission to investigate Israeli massacres of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza Strip border has resigned.
US academic David Crane, who headed the UN Human Rights council commission, stepped down for "personal reasons", the council said in a statement on Wednesday.
The move comes less than a month after he was appointed.
The statement said that Vojislav Suc, Slovenian ambassador to the UN in Geneva and president of the council, has accepted the resignation and will have the task of appointing a new president of the commission.
The commission also includes lawyers Sara Hossein from Bangladesh and Betty Murungi from Kenya.
Crane, an expert in international law who is currently a professor at Syracuse University, is also a former prosecutor at the international court in Sierra Leone.
He was appointed on July 25 to investigate the recent violence on the Gaza Strip border.
Israeli snipers have killed at least 170 Palestinians since the Great Return March protests began on 30 March, with more than 17,500 injured.
More than 68 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces have required amputations of either lower or upper limbs since the protests began.
Palestinians have been calling to return to the homes their families were forced from in 1948, during the military campaign surrounding the creation of Israel.
Protesters have also called for an end to the decade-long crippling blockade on the Palestinian enclave.
Israel says its use of live fire is necessary to defend its borders and stop infiltrations, but human rights groups accuse it of disproportionate force against unarmed protesters.
In May, the UN Human Rights Council voted to send a team of international war crimes investigators to probe the deadly shootings.