Israel committed war crimes against Palestinians: Lawyers

RAMALLAH, Palestine

In the recent clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli forces, the latter has intensified the use of live ammunition from short distances against Palestinian demonstrators.

Two Palestinian lawyers and rights activists who spoke to Anadolu Agency said the Israeli army’s use of live and rubber-coated bullets from a short distance constitutes a war crime.

According to figures by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, on May 14-15, at least 327 Palestinians were shot by live bullets and 444 shot by rubber-coated bullets.

Physical violence, racism

The head of the field research in the Israeli B’Tselem rights group, Kareem Jubran, said: “Israel over years has used physical violence against the Palestinian people.”

Jubran also said that in the light of an unprecedented wave of violence against the Palestinians, the Israeli forces and settlers both attacked the Palestinians in many incidents.

He added that such sharing of attacks between the Israeli forces and settlers constitutes an Israeli systematic policy applied years ago within the Israeli apartheid policies that aim to strengthen the Jews’ control in areas between the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean in the west.

The B’Tselem lawyer said the Israeli occupation is consolidating “a group of systematic violations of human rights and crimes against the (Palestinian) civilians at the hands of the Israeli forces.”

Using live bullets ‘war crime’

The founder of an advocacy group called Youths Against the Israeli Settlement in Hebron southern the West Bank, Isa Amr, said the use of live bullets by the Israeli forces especially by their snipers against the Palestinian peaceful demonstrators is a war crime.

“Shooting rubber-coated bullets from a short range is also an illegal practice against the civilians, whereas they are supposed not to use an excessive force against the demonstrators,” Amr said.

“There is a deliberate intention by the Israeli occupation forces to inflict more casualties among the civilians to push the Palestinian people to accept the existence of the Israeli occupation.” Amr also said.

Amr added that the Israeli settlers have participated with their weapons to attack the Palestinian people.

Right to self-defense

For his part, Palestinian Justice Minister Mohammed al-Shalaldeh said in an interview with Palestine Radio that there are blatant violations committed by the Israeli forces in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Al-Shalaldeh added that international law does not allow anyone to get away unpunished from such crimes, saying the Palestinian people have the right to self-defense by all possible means.

Israeli escalation in occupied territories

Since April 13, clashes erupted across the occupied territories because of Israeli attacks and restrictions on Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and an Israeli court’s decision to evict 12 Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Israeli settlers.

The tension moved to Gaza on May 10, leading to a military confrontation between the Israeli forces and the Palestinian resistance groups where the Israeli warplanes have caused an unprecedented scale of destruction in the Palestinian homes and infrastructure.

A total of 243 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed during Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Gaza-based Health Ministry on Friday.

On Friday dawn a cease-fire has been reached to mark the end of the Israeli attacks on Gaza after 11 days of intense bombing across Gaza-AA

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