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Israel broke international law by firing at unarmed protesters

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

A legal expert in Israel has said that the country’s soldiers “broke international law” by firing at unarmed protesters at the weekend. A large number of Palestinians crossed the borders between Syria and Israel, and Lebanon and Israel, to commemorate the Nakba, the catastrophe of the creation of the Zionist state in 1948. Members of the Israel Defence Forces killed at least 12 protesters, four of them in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and the rest in Southern Lebanon. Dozens more were injured.

According to Dr. Daphne Richmond-Barak, an expert in international law from the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Centre, firing on civilians is a breach of international law and that once the details of the event were made clear, it would be required of Israel to explain its actions. Her comments were quoted in the Jerusalem Post.

The Israeli lawyer believes that there were “less violent” options that the military could have used in response to the protesters who crossed the border with Syria, such as detaining them. Dr Richmond-Barak said it was totally illegal to fire at unarmed protesters. “If we were talking about tanks and soldiers coming across from Syria, there would be no question about Israel’s right to fire as an act of protecting its sovereignty, she said. “This case, however, is different.”

The Israel Defence Forces accused Lebanese troops of firing at the protesters on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.