Israel rejects independent investigation for massacre in Gaza

Israel rejects independent investigation for massacre in Gaza
    Israel rejects independent investigation for massacre in Gaza
    Israel rejects independent investigation for massacre in Gaza, Israel faces criticism from human rights organizations for the use of real fire last Friday against a protest by Palestinians that left 16 dead

    Jerusalem. The Israeli government rejected international calls for an independent investigation after the killing of 16 Palestinian protesters by gunfire by Israeli soldiers on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

    The Jewish state has faced criticism from human rights organizations for the use of real fire last Friday, the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 war.

    The Palestinians, moreover, have accused Israeli soldiers of shooting at demonstrators who posed no threat.

    Both the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, and the head of European Union diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, have called for an "independent and transparent" investigation into these events.

    On Saturday, the United States blocked a draft declaration by the UN Security Council urging restraint and calling for an investigation into the clashes at Israel's border with Gaza.

    This Sunday, Pope Francis referred to this conflict, in his traditional Urbi et Orbi message from the balcony of the St. Peter's Basilica.

    "We invoke fruits of reconciliation for the Holy Land, which in these days is also being hit by open conflicts that do not respect the defenseless," he said.

    - "It was not Woodstock" -

    For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday congratulated the army of his country for having "protected the country's borders" after that Friday demonstration.

    Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the protests were not "the Woodstock festival."

    According to Lieberman, calls for an independent investigation are hypocrites, and this Sunday he reiterated his rejection of such investigations.

    "There will be no commission of inquiry," he told Israeli public radio. "There will be no such thing here, we will not cooperate with any commission of inquiry," he added.

    Netanyahu also rejected on Sunday the "lessons" of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had described as "inhuman attack" the events on Friday that killed 16 Palestinians.

    "The most ethical army in the world does not need any moral lesson from one who has been bombing civilians without trial for years," Netanyahu said on Twitter.

    Soon after, Erdogan returned to the charge on Sunday and accused Netanyahu of being a "terrorist".

    "Hey, Netanyahu, you are an occupier! And you are in that land as an occupier, and at the same time you are a terrorist," the Turkish president said in a speech in Adana, in the south of the country.

    - "Right of return" -

    On Friday, Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians who approached the fortified border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, usually the scene of bloody riots.

    The Israeli military claimed that they fired only when necessary, while "rioters rolled tires on fire and threw firebombs and stones at the security fence and at Israeli troops," a military spokesman said. 30,000 protesters

    Israeli military sources also claimed that there were attempts to damage the fence and infiltrate Israeli territory.

    The mobilization of the Gazans "was not a demonstration" but an "organized terrorist activity" by Hamas, warned Brigadier General Ronen Manelis. This Islamist movement, which has waged three wars against Israel since 2008, controls the Gaza Strip.

    In addition to the 16 dead, the clashes left more than 1,400 injured, 758 of them by shooting and the rest by rubber bullets or tear gas inhalation, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

    There were no victims or injuries on the Israeli side.

    The Palestinian protest, which will last six weeks with demonstrations along the security fence between Gaza and Israel, was called by civil society to demand the "right of return" of the Palestinian refugees and denounce the strict blockade imposed by Israel on Loop.

    Another issue of confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians is the status of Jerusalem, even more so since US President Donald Trump decided to recognize the Holy City as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there.
    Wael Elyamani
    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of CTV Egypt News .

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