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‘Israel’s Gaza response disproportionate’

Geneva, May 18: UN rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein on Friday said that Israel used “wholly disproportionate” force against Palestinian border protests which left over 100 people dead. Al Hussein told a meeting in Geneva that Gazans were effectively “caged in a toxic slum” and Gaza’s occupation by Israel had to end, the BBC reported. He told the emergency session on Gaza that the “stark contrast in casualties on both sides was … suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response” by Israel. The UN meeting was considering calling for an independent investigation. Israel’s Ambassador said Gaza’s militant Islamist rulers had deliberately put people in harm’s way. Al Hussein said he supported a call for an “international, independent and impartial” investigation into the violence in Gaza, adding that “those responsible for violations must in the end be held accountable”. (IANS)