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Palestinians in Gaza 'caged in a toxic slum,' United Nations rights chief says

Palestinians in Gaza 'caged in a toxic slum,' United Nations rights chief says”

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine held a protest at an event celebrating Israeli history Thursday, claiming it did not acknowledge Palestinians as indigenous to the region.

Israel's Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday that Israel tried to minimise casualties when it defended its borders against "terrorists" in Gaza, and blamed Hamas militants for using human shields.

Earlier this week, Kuwait's UN Ambassador Mansour Otaibi said he would call for a multilateral force to be deployed in Gaza for the "protection of Palestinian civilians", though he added "we're not talking about peacekeeping".

The largest demonstrations coincided with the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, which saw Israeli forces kill some 60 Palestinians, pushing the overall toll well over 100. Israeli ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, meanwhile slammed the special session on Friday, saying it was "politically motivated and won't improve the situation on the ground by even one iota".

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The increased tension comes as Israel's Independence Day approaches, with celebrations set to coincide with a ceremony marking the relocation of the US Embassy, scheduled for Monday, May 14.

The foreign secretary also met the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during the Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting.

The two-day Forum marks the anniversary of the 1948 War and mass displacement of Palestinians, convened by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The key is "the ability to affect behavior on the ground and to provide genuine protection", she said at a news conference Wednesday at United Nations headquarters. Some tried to attack the fence. Several council members called for an independent investigation and urged Israel to use force proportionally, while also admonishing Hamas to avoid provocation. Israel said that proves its point, while human rights groups said the protesters' identities were irrelevant if they were unarmed and didn't pose an immediate threat to soldiers' lives when shot.



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