RAMALLAH, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Authority (PA) Presidency welcomed on Thursday a United Nations investigative report, which slams Israel for violations in the Gaza Strip and committing "war crimes" in the coastal enclave.
"This report confirms what we always say that Israel commits war crimes against our people in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem," the PA Presidency said in an official statement.
"The International Criminal Court is required to immediately open an investigation into these crimes. It is time to hold Israel accountable for these crimes and not to remain a state above the law," said the statement.
United Nations investigators have accused Israeli soldiers of intentionally firing on civilians and said they might have committed war crimes in their lethal response to Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza.
The independent Commission of Inquiry, set up last year by the UN's human rights council, said Israeli forces killed 189 people and shot more than 6,100 others with live ammunition near the fence that divides the two territories.
In a statement, the panel said it found "reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognisable as such."
The report said that 35 of those killed were children, and three were clearly identifiable paramedics and two were clearly marked journalists, the report said.
However, Health Ministry officials in Gaza said that since the outbreak of rallies and protests, better known as the Great March of Return, on March 30, the Israeli army killed 256 Palestinians and wounded more than 26,000 others.
Meanwhile, Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas movement leader in Gaza told Xinhua that "what has come in the report of the UN inspectors is again confirming that the occupation has committed inhuman massacres and war crimes against civilians."