Excessive IDF force killing Palestinian demonstrators says rights group
Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 01:44
Jan. 28 - An Israeli human rights group says the killing of protesters by Israeli forces ''extensively and systematically'' violates rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault. Travis Brecher reports.
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Israeli rights group B'Tselem says Israel routinely breaks its own rules of engagement by using deadly force to disperse unarmed Palestinian protesters.
They said Israeli forces have killed 56 people over the past seven years in clashes with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank -- a gross violation, the groups says, of rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault.
The B'Tselem report, published on Monday, analysed the Israeli military's crowd control arsenal.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SARIT MICHAELI, SPOKESPERSON OF ISRAELI B'TSELEM ORGANISATION, SAYING:
"This report exposes for the first time the full list of crowd control weapons used by the Israeli security forces in the West Bank regarding Palestinian demonstrations, weapons like tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, the skunk stun grenades and different weapons that are meant to be a non-lethal if used properly and according to the regulations."
Of the Palestinian fatalities since 2005, six were killed by rubber-coated bullets and two by teargas canisters - both supposedly non-lethal weapons which B'Tselem says were fired directly at protesters.
The report said the other 48 demonstrators were killed by live ammunition.
The Israeli Defense Force said the report presents a biased narrative, relying primarily on incidents that are either old or still under investigation by the Military Police.
The IDF said in a written response sent to Reuters that it does everything in its power to ensure that their riot dispersal methods comply with the rules of engagement.
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