Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday expressed his “absolute support” for the Israeli soldiers who have been shooting Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip in recent weeks.
On Friday, Israeli snipers shot and killed four Palestinians (with a fifth succumbing to his wounds on Sunday night), including a 14-year-old child, Mohammad Ayoub.
Lieberman said that Israeli soldiers had done nothing wrong.
“I was there myself and saw how the soldiers were operating. The way our soldiers function inspires respect,” the defence minister stated, adding that “there is absolute support for IDF soldiers and every incident is investigated.”
Lieberman also blasted the European Union for calling for an investigation into Ayoub’s death, claiming that “Hamas heads” are “hiding behind women and children”.
Ayoub was shot in the head some distance from the Gaza Strip perimeter fence, which marks the 1967 armistice lines between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Israeli army has acknowledged that the minor was shot while merely approaching the fence.
Since 30 March, “Great Return of March” protests have been suppressed with live fire, causing dozens of fatalities and some 5,000 injuries, including more than 1,000 gunshot wounds.