Palestine UN envoy calls for independent probe into Israeli atrocities in Gaza

Press TV – The Palestinian ambassador to the UN has called on the world body to set up an independent commission to investigate Israeli crimes after four more Palestinians were killed in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Riyad Mansour made the comments during a press conference in New York on Friday, expressing hope that the Geneva-based Human Rights Council would approve a resolution authorizing a commission “to investigate these crimes.”

His remarks came a few hours after Gaza’s Ministry of Health announced that four Palestinian demonstrators, including a 15-year-old teenage boy, had sustained fatal injuries in clashes with Israeli soldiers during anti-occupation protests along the border between the blockaded sliver and occupied territories earlier in the day.

Reports said that at least 40 Palestinian protesters had also been wounded by Israeli gunfire and suffered tear gas inhalation as well.

Mansour also stressed that an investigation must be “independent and transparent”, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and others have called for. He also told journalists that Palestinians would not accept an investigation that Israel has announced because “it cannot be credible.”

The Palestinian envoy also accused Israel of neutralizing the International Criminal Court, saying that Tel Aviv could not be part of a probe into the atrocities it has committed against the Palestinian nation.

Furthermore, Mansour noted that all of the Israeli criminals must face punishment, criticizing the international community for being silent about the Israeli crimes.

Meanwhile, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov denounced Israel’s atrocities in the besieged enclave.

The Palestinian rally, dubbed the “Great March of Return,” will last until May 15, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) on which Israel was created.

The Great March of Return began on March 30 and will last for six weeks. Israel has responded to the peaceful demonstrations with an iron fist, killing more than 30 unarmed Palestinians over the past three weeks.

The regime in Tel Aviv has come under criticism in the international community by allowing its snipers to open fire on the unarmed protesters that come close to the fence.

The weeks-long march has been organized by the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, which governs Gaza. It evokes a longtime call for Palestinian refugees to regain ancestral homes in the territories under Israeli occupation.

Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

More than 760,000 Palestinians – now estimated to number nearly five million with their descendants – were driven out of their homes on May 14, 1948.

Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite UN resolutions and international law that upholds people’s right to return to their homelands.