As Palestinians gather near the Gaza border fence for the fifth Friday in a row, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein denounced Israel and its reaction to the weekly protests. Al Hussein said that Israel’s use of “excessive force” has led to the deaths of 42 Palestinians.

IDF soldiers near the Gaza border (archive)

IDF soldiers near the Gaza border (archive) Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein criticized on Friday Israel’s response to the violent riots along the Gaza border that have been occurring since the end of March.

“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,” Zeid stated. He noted that 42 Palestinians have been killed and more than 5,500 injured in the recent weeks while no Israelis were hurt.

“I am doubly concerned by reports of unusually severe injuries resulting from the use of live ammunition,” he said. “Furthermore, many of those seeking treatment outside of Gaza have been refused permits by Israel to leave, which has increased the suffering.”

“I am extremely concerned that by the end of today — and next Friday, and the Friday after that — more unarmed Palestinians who were alive this morning will have been killed,” Zeid added. “Israel’s failure to consistently prosecute violations committed by members of its security forces, encourages them to use deadly force against their fellow unarmed human beings.”

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry in Gaza said that 25 Palestinians were injured today along the border. Protesters gathered in several locations along the border starting this afternoon. While this is the fifth consecutive Friday of protests, the turnout was considerably smaller than previous weeks.