GENEVA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- An independent expert of the United Nations on Friday stressed that events in Gaza this past week, the past two months, and these past 11 years, haunt the conscience of the international community.
Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, told a UN Human Rights Council Special Session in a video message that pursuing accountability and defending human rights is the only path to the peace in the region.
"It is in the best interests of both for the Palestinians to finally be able to live in freedom and dignity, and for Israelis to finally free themselves from their occupation," he stressed.
Lynk mentioned the facts that over the past seven weeks, over 100 Palestinian demonstrators have died at the hands of the Israeli military, among which are children, journalists, health medics and many young unemployed men.
He also cited statements by Doctors Without Borders that among the approximately 12,000 being injured, many have received devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat.
"Once again, I will refer to the basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials, which require law enforcement officials to refrain from using lethal force on demonstrators unless strictly unavoidable in order to prevent death or serious injury," he said.
Lynk called upon the international community to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the killings and injuries that have occurred in the context of these demonstrations since March 30.
As requested by Palestine and the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Arab Group of States, the UN Human Rights Council on Friday morning opened a special session to discuss on "the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem."