Israel Defends Use Of Live-Fire Against ‘March of Return’ Protesters In Gaza Strip
Israeli state attorneys defended the army’s use of live-fire during recent clashes with Palestinians along the Gaza Strip border, contending that the rules of engagement conform to international law given that the five-weeks-long “March of Return” protests have repeatedly descended into violence and thus should not be viewed as civilian demonstrations. Responding to court petitions filed by the Adalah and Yesh Din organizations, which some accuse of anti-Israel bias, the state argued that the ongoing unrest is instead “part of the armed conflict between the Hamas terror group and Israel.” During last Friday’s rioting, the IDF claims that hundreds of Gazans tried to breach the security fence while others threw firebombs and rocks at Israeli troops, who, in turn, opened fire to disperse the crowd. Jerusalem maintains that the Hamas-initiated protests are geared towards sparking unrest and has therefore accused the terrorist group, which rules the Palestinian enclave, of using its citizenry both as “human shields” and as cover to perpetrate attacks. Nevertheless, the Jewish state has been slammed for its response, with Amnesty International on Sunday having called for the implementation of an arms embargo against Israel for what it described as a “murderous assault” on Palestinians. Some 45 Gazans, which includes many Hamas members, have been killed during the course of the protests.