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ESCWA condemns Israeli actions in Gaza

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut, 17 May 2018 (Communication and Information Unit)--The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) condemns the killing of 61 Palestinians, including 6 children, by Israeli forces on 14 May 2018 during a demonstration at the border fence in Gaza. The apparent disproportionate use of force, namely the use of live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, constitutes another violation of international humanitarian law and a disregard for human life and dignity on the part of the Israeli military.
These developments come in the context of continuous, well-documented Israeli violations of international law, including the illegal 11-year blockade on Gaza, which has transformed it into an open-air prison for more than 2 million Palestinians. Israel, as the occupying Power, has consistently violated its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, particularly with regard to the protection of civilians.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations expressed he is “profoundly alarmed by the sharp escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and the high number of Palestinians killed and injured in the Gaza protests”, and had earlier repeatedly called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into such incidents.
ESCWA maintains that the living conditions in Gaza, which has been under Israeli occupation for 51 years, have become unbearable. It is unacceptable that, in the twenty-first century and after 70 years of fragmentation and oppression of the Palestinian people, Israeli violations of international law continue with impunity. The Palestinian people as a whole, and Gazans in particular, have suffered for far too long. The international community must act to hold those responsible for such violations accountable. The implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions and other provisions of international law, without exception, remains the only path to a just and lasting peace.
For more information:
Nabil Abu-Dargham, Head, ESCWA Communication and Information Unit
+961-70-993-144; email:
Ms Rania Harb +961-70-008-879; email:
Ms Myrna Mahfouz:  +961-70-872-372; email:
Mr Haidar Fahs: +961-70-079-021; email: