Statement by Dr. Nabeel Shaath, presidential adviser for international affairs, on Israel’s brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators in Gaza

April 05, 2018

On March 30, 2018, the world witnessed as Israeli Forces opened lethal fire on peaceful demonstrators in Gaza, killing 16 and injuring over 1200 people. Thousands of Palestinian families, children, women and men had joined the march to express their right to protest for the exercise of their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and return, as well as against the occupation and colonial settlement of their country during the commemorations of "Land Day".

Israel did not hesitate to admit that the systematic attack on Palestinians was ‘accurate and measured’. The Israeli Army’s official account tweeted: "We know where every shot has landed". A report released by Human Rights Watch also confirmed that “before and after the confrontations, senior officials publicly said that soldiers stationed along the barrier that separates Gaza and Israel had orders to target ‘instigators’ and those who approach[ed] the border”.  In fact, video footage and eyewitness accounts have shown that the Israeli army was aiming to kill, shooting live bullets at unarmed people in their backs while fleeing the scene or even while praying.

We call on you to condemn these flagrant and recurring assaults by Israeli forces. Israel, the occupying power, must be held responsible under international law for the atrocities committed against defenseless people, amounting to a War Crime.  At the same time, we call for an independent international investigation to address the killings and violence committed in Gaza on March 30. The international community is legally and morally obligated to take concrete actions against the belligerent occupation, ensuring the protection of the Palestinian population, and the realization of their right to statehood and self-determination.

Gazans have been living under inhuman conditions, at the hands of the Israeli government, for years. The military blockade must end immediately. We call on you to publish your condemnation, hold Israel accountable and continue with all your efforts to assist the Palestinian people to fully realize their own independent homeland in peace, freedom and dignity.

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