Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

protest

Protests along the Israel-Gaza border continued for the fifth straight Friday on April 27, 2018. (Photo: Ma'an News Agency)

Human Rights Advocates Demand Worldwide Arms Embargo as Gaza Protests Continue

"The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel," says Amnesty International 

Jessica Corbett

As the March of Great Return continued in Gaza for the fifth straight Friday—and Israeli forces killed least four Palestinians and injured more than 800—human rights advocates demanded an immediate worldwide arms embargo in response to Israel's "unlawful" use of force.

International outrage has grown over the past five weeks, as snipers with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have shot and killed Palestinians protesting the Israeli occupation along the Gaza-Israel border. Politicians, international law experts, human rights advocates, and others have fiercely condemned the use of live ammunition on unarmed protesters.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, on Friday called for independent investigations into Israel's use of force, emphasizing that "the loss of life is deplorable, and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators—not once, not twice, but repeatedly."

While Amensty International supported the call for investigations, deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa Magdalena Mughrabi said, "The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over," pointing out that "despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters." 

"The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel," Mughrabi declared, warning that "a failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women, and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel's cruel blockade of Gaza."

The Palestinian Health Ministry told Haaretz that one of those killed in this week's protest was a teenager named Azzam Halal Owaida, who died from his injuries on Saturday morning.

"The use of excessive force against any demonstrator is reprehensible, but children enjoy additional protection under international law," Zeid said. "It is difficult to see how children, even those throwing stones, can present a threat of imminent death or serious injury to heavily protected security force personnel."

According to rights groups, reporters, and the U.N., at least four other Palestinian children are among the more than 40 people who have been killed by the Israeli forces since the protests started late last month.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Urged to Sign Executive Order Guaranteeing Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

After the president brokered a compulsory contract without a single paid day off for illness, one labor advocate implored him to "put up or shut up about how you really want them to have sick leave!"

Brett Wilkins ·


Campaigners Demand Deep Cuts to Plastic Production as Global Treaty Negotiations Ramp Up

"The scale of the problem is mind-boggling," said one advocate. "Plastic is in our blood. It's in fetuses. It's really encroaching on every aspect of human existence."

Julia Conley ·


Putting 'Profits Over People', Senate Rejects Paid Sick Leave for Rail Workers

"Senate Republicans and Joe Manchin have yet AGAIN failed working Americans by voting down seven days of paid sick leave for rail workers," lamented Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Must Cancel Student Debt,' Activists Argue as SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Case in February

"The right-tilted Supreme Court now holds in the balance relief for millions of hardworking Americans," said one campaigner. "It would be a giant loss for the economy if justices rule in favor of the special interests."

Jessica Corbett ·


A Labor Revolt Is Brewing... Inside the National Labor Relations Board

"From Congress, we demand funds, not furloughs," says the NLRB union. "From NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, we demand collaboration, not coercion."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo