Israel Approves Army’s Use of Live Sniper Fire Against Gaza Protesters

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By Middle East Eye

Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously dismissed a petition by two human rights groups that accused Israel’s military of violating the law by using snipers and live ammunition against peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the ruling on Twitter: “The High Court of Justice unanimously rejected the petitions of the pestering left-wing Zionist organisations against the IDF’s strong and steadfast stance against the enemy in Gaza.

“It is time for you to understand that while you are trying to strengthen our enemy, the IDF is also protecting you,” Liberman said, referring to Israel’s military.

Adalah and Al Mezan petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court on 17 May to order the Israeli army to stop using snipers and live ammunition in the Gaza Strip.

The petition called out Israel for using “excessive force” and said that its “open-fire policy is illegal”.

“The military informed the supreme court that it shoots people in Gaza who are allegedly ‘leading inciters or breachers of order’; they did not claim that the people shot were armed or that they posed an immediate threat to the lives of others,” it read.

“This is a violation of international law, amounting to willful killing and injury, and constituting war crimes under Article 8 of the Rome Statute,” the petition said.

Major protests took place across the Palestinian territories last Wednesday as the United States transferred its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Smaller protests took place last Thursday, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced into exile as Israel was created in 1948.

More than 60 Palestinians were killed along the Gaza border over two days, and a teen who died on Wednesday was the first killed in West Bank protests. More than 2,770 others were injured, including 225 children and 86 women.

The casualties raised the death toll since 30 March, the day when the six-week Gaza “Great March of Return” began, to 119.

The Israeli army insists its actions are necessary to defend the border and prevent mass infiltrations. Still, rights groups said many people who were killed were nowhere near the fence that Israel had erected on Palestinian territory in Gaza.

Palestinians had at various times agreed to having the eastern part of Jerusalem as their capital.

The US embassy move led the Palestinian leadership to cut ties with US President Donald Trump’s administration.

This article (Israel Approves Army’s Use of Live Sniper Fire Against Gaza Protesters) was originally published on Middle East Eye and syndicated by The Event Chronicle. Via The Antimedia.

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