Excessive use of force by Israel should be examined — UN Special Cmte

GENEVA, May 6 (KUNA) — The United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories said on Friday that a large number of civil society organizations made representations about the escalation of violence that began in October 2015 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Committee was briefed that during the escalation, several Palestinians have been killed during or after attacks on Israeli civilians or members of the security forces, said the Committee in a press release after annual fact-finding visit to Amman (2-5 May 2016). Testimonies presented before the Special Committee in the form of videos, and oral and written submissions showed that in many cases the Israeli security forces have used disproportionate force, in some instances leading to possible extra-judicial executions.
A related concern that was presented before the Committee is the lack of systematic investigation into cases of apparent excessive use of force by Israeli security forces. The importance of fully investigating all incidents where security forces have allegedly caused death or injury, and of holding those responsible to account was underscored.
Against this backdrop, and the lack of progress made on accountability in relation to the 2014 Gaza escalation, fears were expressed about what was described as, “the faulty justice system” in Israel, and the dilemma faced by some non-governmental organisations on whether or not to approach the existing Israeli justice system, civil or military, for redress.
Fears were also expressed that the separation of power between the judiciary and the executive was increasingly narrowing, potentially affecting the independence of the judiciary and the decisions of the courts in Israel.
The Committee noted with particular concern video footage of Israeli security forces blocking ambulances from reaching injured Palestinians in the West Bank, and at times attacking Palestinian medical personnel arriving on the scene of an incident to provide first aid, prima facie in contravention of customary international law and the basic principles of the Geneva Conventions (1949).(more) ta.tg

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