The tragic death of nearly 60 and wounding of hundreds more last week shocked, saddened and horrified me. Human Rights Watch called it a bloodbath. Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, condemned Israel's excessive use of force towards largely unarmed demonstrators at the Gaza fence. He said:
This blatant excessive use of force by Israel—an eye for an eyelash—must end, and there must be true accountability for those in military and political command who have ordered or allowed this force to be once again employed at the Gaza fence.
In 2018, the year we'll be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is shameful that human rights abuses are still being suffered on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza. Peaceful protests, wherever they occur, must be allowed to continue. The fundamental right to freedom of expression and assembly must be protected. I urge Israel to show restraint and to de-escalate matters.
It is unthinkable that in a democratic society unarmed protestors are stopped with deadly force. There are strict international prohibitions against lethal force being used against demonstrators. It could breach the fourth Geneva convention. There were 60 human lives lost and 60 families left shattered. Surely, there should be an investigation into this atrocity. The UN called for an independent and impartial investigation into these killings and others killings that have occurred since 30 March. How could this Turnbull government let Australia be one of only two nations to vote against the United Nations' independent inquiry into the killings at the Gaza fence last week?That is a shameful record to have, and I would expect more of the Turnbull government.