Two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza

Two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces in Gaza
2 min read
22 March, 2019
Two Palestinians, aged 18 and 29, were shot in separate incidents during a resumption of protests along the Gaza border.
An injured Palestinian is being carried away during a 'Great March of Return' demonstration [Anadolu/Getty]

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire following protests along the Gaza border Friday, the enclave's health ministry has announced.

Health ministry spokesman, Ashraf al-Qudra, told AFP the two men, aged 18 and 29, were shot in separate incidents during a resumption of protests along the fractious border. He did not announce their identities.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border 

The news comes amid calls from the top UN human rights body for the UN human rights chief to strengthen her office's presence in Palestinian areas. This follows an investigation that found Israeli soldiers may have committed war crimes in a deadly response to Gaza protests last year.

UN investigators concluded that Israel has committed serious human rights violations by shooting at unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza over the past year.

The Human Rights Council made the request to increase the monitoring presence in a resolution that passed 23-8 with 15 abstentions, a vote loaded with political implications that quickly drew accusations of bias from the Israeli government.

Five central and eastern European countries joined Australia, Fiji and Brazil opposing the measure. Britain and many EU countries abstained.

The resolution was among five considered focusing on Israel and "Occupied Palestinian Territory", the only "country situation" considered at every council meeting. A total of 29 resolutions were being considered in the four-week session ending Friday.

The council also criticized Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Golan Heights a day after US President Donald trump announced it was "time" to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory.

At least 252 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during the weekly border protests, while others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza. 

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.

UN Human Rights Council has earlier pressed Israel to revise its military rules of engagement that allow such abuses, as the first anniversary of the Great Return March protests near.

The weekly protests, dubbed the "Great Return March", have been taking place for nearly a year. Palestinians have gathered along the Gaza border fence for non-violent marches to demand an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza and the right for Palestinians to return to their homes lost since Israel's creation in 1948.

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