UN urges Israel to cease use of live ammunition against unarmed Palestinians

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Israeli settlement construction on the West Bank

Israeli settlement construction on the West Bank

Scores of unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed over the past year in the West Bank and Gaza by Israeli soldiers carrying out law enforcement activities at military  checkpoints, according to the UN Human Rights office.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the deaths were needless and is calling on Israel to cease the use of live ammunition against civilians.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, Ms Pillay said poverty, unemployment and the deterioration of health, education, water and sanitation services were the hallmarks of the continued Israeli Blockade on Gaza.

Ms Pillay said the expansion of Israeli settlements remains one of the major sources of friction in the region.

"The Israeli government must protect Palestinians and their property from violence by settlers. Ensuring that Palestinians can easily access Israeli Police stations and otherwise register complaints is essential if Israel wants to end settler violence. There is also a need for Palestinian leaders to reinforce safeguards of opinion, association and assembly. These freedoms are central to the open and democratic society to which many Palestinians have aspired for so long. The firing of indiscriminate projectiles towards Israel from Gaza is illegal and unjustifiable. Those who participate in such activities are terrorizing Israel civilians and playing into the hands of those who wish to maintain the blockade."

Duration 1.00″

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