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Watchdog: Israel using deadly force on unarmed protesters
Published Monday 28/01/2013 (updated) 29/01/2013 13:23
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An Israeli border policeman fires a tear gas canister at stone-throwing
Palestinian protesters during clashes in Kfar Kadum, near Nablus,
Jan. 25, 2013. (Reuters/Abed Omar Qusini)

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- Israel is breaking its own rules of engagement by using deadly force to disperse unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported on Monday.

Israeli forces have killed 56 people since 2005 in clashes with rock-throwing Palestinians, said B'Tselem, which accused the military of having "extensively and systematically violated" rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault.

"The Israeli military's standing orders explicitly state that live ammunition may not be fired at stone-throwers," it said.

Last week, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians from Bethlehem.

On Wednesday, 15-year-old Salih al-Amarin, from Azza refugee camp, died in hospital after Israeli forces shot him in the head during clashes in Bethlehem a few days earlier.

The same day, Lubna Hanash, 22, was shot in the head when Israeli soldiers in a civilian car opened fire at a group standing at the entrance to al-Arrub refugee camp south of Bethlehem.

The Israeli army said the B'Tselem report "presents a biased narrative, relying primarily on incidents that are either old or still under investigation by the Military Police."

"The (army) does everything in its power to ensure that the use of riot dispersal means is done in accordance with the rules of engagement," the military said in a written response sent to Reuters.

Of the Palestinian fatalities since 2005, six were killed by rubber-coated metal bullets and two by teargas canisters, both supposedly non-lethal weapons which were fired directly at protesters, B'Tselem said.

"In practice, members of the security forces make almost routine use of these weapons in unlawful, dangerous ways, and the relevant Israeli authorities do too little to prevent the recurrence of this conduct," the report said.

The other 48 protesters killed where hit by live ammunition, according to the group.
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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
28/01/2013 10:38
Very important to keep all records and pass them on to the ICC when Palestinians brings a case against the brutal Israeli regime. These idiots need to be taught a lesson as they have become bullish because of US's support at the UN. And yet the west & US preach democracy.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/01/2013 21:11
Strange - Palestinians have been using deadly force on Israelis for decades, but I don't recall any body funded by EU taxpayers issuing a report about it. Any keen reader knows that Palestinian policy for years and years was to seek out and kill Israeli civilians. Hamas and Islamic Jihad policy is to fire rockets specifically at Israeli towns and citiies. So any keen readers in the UK will be in the specator gallery at the ICC when Palestinian leaders are hauled up on war crimes charges.

3 ) Mel / USA
28/01/2013 21:47
"..in accordance with the rules of engagement,.."? What total bulls*t! The Israeli army knows full well that its 'Rules of Engagement',& Code of Honor are sacrificed for acquiescence to the savage,lawless 'Rules of Ravshatz';the SSC rabid-Rabbi's who work in the MOD &virtually control ALL military Commanders!The Israeli army uses nerve-agents in their MILITARY(not civilian-grade)strength"tear gas" & ARMS savage settlers thru' the "Ministry of Settlements & Defense"(as Israeli soldiers call it).

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/01/2013 00:45
To Brian Cohen #2. You know who you remind me of? You remind me of those Nazis who used to talk about the Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at Germany. I'm not going to bother to dispose of your historical fantasizing -- just thought I'd let you know how you look from the outside.

5 ) Reader / from Edmonton
29/01/2013 02:24
Misinformation from Mr. Cohen would have you believe that B'Tselem doesn't report all casualties in the on-going conflict. But they do.

6 ) Ben Alofs / UK/Netherlands
29/01/2013 02:45
@2 Brian. Five unarmed young Palestinians, the youngest 15 years old, have been killed with live fire by Israeli soldiers this year, violating even the minimal rules of engagement of the Israeli army. When in the future Israeli war criminals will be brought to justice in the Hague the ICC will see through the false symmetry you try to create between an aggressive colonial enitity that steals Palestinian land and kills Palestinians on a vastly larger scale, and the occupied people of Palestine.

7 ) Robert / US
29/01/2013 06:22
Israeli's are nothing but liars and cheats.

8 ) gabi / australia
29/01/2013 08:29
# 2 Brian Cohen- what are the figures re. the number of deaths of Israelis over the "decades" compared with the number of Palestinians? It is always at least 10 Palestinian to to 1 Israeli, isn't it? So stop your spin because no one believes you anymore. btw, speaking of Gaza, remember not this one but the last attack you did on Gaza where 1400 Gazans died and 13 Israelis? When 9 of those Israelis were IDF 4 dying as the result of friendly fire? Why don't you prattle on about that?

9 ) ian / australia
30/01/2013 09:13
#2 "...when Palestinian leaders are hauled up on war crimes charges." The strange thing Brian, is that Palestinians, even members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, would probably pay the price of submitting to ICC "war crimes charges" if it meant Israel would be investigated and prosecuted for its crimes TOO. Your fiery screed, which I actually think is ALL true, every word, 100%, sort of backfires, because it invokes the idea of justice, which of course is ONLY justice when applied equally.

10 ) ian / australia
30/01/2013 09:13
(contd.) Equal Justice Under Law. So if you're saying ALL miscreants should ultimately be held accountable for their actions, I couldn't agree more.

11 ) Truth! You couldn't handle / the truth!
03/02/2013 20:40
9) All this "war crimes and ICC" talk is a load of bollocks. The PA's supporters in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq etc, would never let them start that ball rolling because they know it might not stop before they end up in the dock. Yes 1400 Gabi, and Hamas admitted most of them were theirs, so stop twisting the facts. And no Ian. Those terrorists would not "probably" pay the price, because they know it would put the spotlight on who the real war criminals are. They prefer propaganda to truth.
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