UN Human Rights Council Bashes Israel Over Gaza Protests

(Bloomberg) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council said it found reason to believe Israel may have committed war crimes in its crackdown on protests on the Gaza Strip border.

Israel rejected the allegation as another example of the council’s bias against it.

The commission said 189 Palestinians were killed in connection with the campaign of demonstrations against Israel that began 11 months ago. It concluded that Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who didn’t pose an imminent threat.

“The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that some violations constitute international crimes,” it said.

Israel doesn’t regard the protests as benign, noting that they’re organized by Hamas, the militant Islamic group that rules Gaza and is defined as a terrorist organization in much of the West. Demonstrators repeatedly try to infiltrate Israel, assault soldiers with snipers, explosives and rocks, and have launched hundreds of incendiary kites and balloons across the border to destroy farmland and nature reserves.

“The Theater of the Absurd of the Human Rights Council has produced another hostile, false and slanted report against Israel,” acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a text message. “The whole purpose of the report is to malign the only democracy in the Middle East and impair Israel’s right to defend itself from a murderous terror organization.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement sent by his office, urged the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into Israel’s actions.

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