Israel's FM rejects international calls for probe into unlawful Palestinian teen killings
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has rejected “any demand” for an international probe into the recent killings of two Palestinian youths by Israeli soldiers.
On Wednesday, Lieberman slammed world criticism and demands for an investigation into the circumstances leading to the deaths of two Palestinians on May 15 known as “Nakba Day.”
This came a day after assistant UN Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, called for an "independent and transparent" probe into the deaths.
The UN official added that it was "of serious concern that initial information appears to indicate that the two Palestinians killed were both unarmed and appeared to pose no direct threat."
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also called on Israel "to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident."
The Palestinian rights group Defense for Children International released a closed circuit television footage showing the fatal shootings, which Israeli rights group B'Tselem says supported its findings that troops killed the teenagers without cause by firing live rounds from more than 200 meters away. The soldiers were in “zero danger” at the time, Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem noted.
Meanwhile, Hanan Ashrawi of Palestine Liberation Organization has accused the Israeli forces of carrying out “deliberate executions.”
However, Israeli officials say the footage has been edited.
Nakba Day or "Day of Catastrophe" marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israeli troops in 1948 and the formation of the Israeli regime.