Rights groups slam Israel for Gaza 'bloodbath'

Rights groups slam Israel for Gaza 'bloodbath'
Israeli forces killed at least 43 Palestinians and injured hundreds more when they opened fire at mass protests in the Gaza Strip.
2 min read
Israel killed over 40 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Monday. [Getty]

The bloodshed along Gaza's border with Israel is an "abhorrent violation" of human rights, Amnesty International said on Monday after at least 43 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire.

"We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law and human rights in Gaza.... This must end immediately," the London-based human rights group said on Twitter.

Gaza's health ministry said 43 Palestinians were killed and over one thousand injured as Israeli forces opened fire on mass protests over the United States moving of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The rights group said that 500 had been injured "with live ammunition" and that many were reporting injuries to the head and chest.

"This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes," Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther said in a separate statement.

"As violence continues to spiral out of control, the Israeli authorities must immediately rein in the military to prevent the further loss of life and serious injuries."

Amnesty made the statement "responding to reports that dozens of Palestinians have been killed" in the protests over the US embassy move.

"The rising toll of deaths and injuries today only serves to highlight the urgent need for an arms embargo," Luther added.

"While some protestors may have engaged in some form of violence, this still does not justify the use of live ammunition."

Human Rights Watch said Israel’s policy of opening fire on Palestinian demonstrators "caged in for a decade and under occupation for half a century, has resulted in a bloodbath that anyone could have foreseen."