Israel security forces should face justice for Gaza killings - UN report

GENEVA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - United Nations investigators said on Thursday Israeli security forces may have committed war crimes over the killing of 189 Palestinians and wounding of more than 6,100 at weekly protests in Gaza last year.

"The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities," the panel report said.

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Dozens dead at protest along Gaza-Israel fence
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Dozens dead at protest along Gaza-Israel fence
Palestinian demonstrators run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Palestinian demonstrators run for cover during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A wounded Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Palestinian demonstrators gather at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, east of Gaza City May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
People watch a burning field, on the Israeli side of the border fence between Israel and Gaza near kibbutz Mefalsim, Israel, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
An Israeli police officer uses binoculars as he sits on a tree, as other police personnel stand close to the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, Israel, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
A Palestinian demonstrator with a slingshot looks on during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Palestinian demonstrator shouts during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Palestinian demonstrators carry tires during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A wounded Palestinian is evacuated during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Palestinians run for cover from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians shout slogans against the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem, as they protest near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Emergency services and Palestinians carry a wounded protestor during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - MAY 14: Palestinians set tires on fire in response to Israel's intervention during a protest, organized to mark 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, and against United States' plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, near Gaza-Israel border in Khan Yunis, Gaza on May 14, 2018. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Smoke billows from the Israeli side after a kite loaded with a molotov cocktail crossed the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Palestinian men carry an innjured protester during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians readied for protests over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A Palestinian man assists a wounded protestor during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians run for cover from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
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The panel had confidential information about those believed to be responsible for the killings, including snipers and commanders, which was being given to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet for her to share with the International Criminal Court (ICC), it said.

Protests have been held at the frontier between Israel and the Gaza Strip since last year, calling for the easing of an Israeli blockade of the territory and recognition of the right of Palestinian refugees there to return to homes in Israel.

Israel has said its forces opened fire to protect the frontier from incursions and attacks by armed militants.

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