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Israel: Human rights laws do not apply to March of Return

Israeli forces fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters during the Great March of Return in Gaza on 1st April 2018 [Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces fire tear gas at Palestinian protesters during the Great March of Return in Gaza on 1st April 2018 [Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency]

Human rights laws do not apply in the Israeli army’s dealing with the Great March of Return on the border with Gaza, the army has claimed, adding that this is “a state of war”.

Replying to a petition filed by human rights groups against the army’s use of brute force and live ammunition against unarmed Palestinian protesters, the army said its actions were consistent with Israeli and international laws.

Israel claimed that during the demonstrations, “Hamas carried out acts of aggression against Israel” which prompted “sustained armed confrontation between the two sides.” It provided no proof to its claims and they have been refuted by witnesses on the ground on numerous occasions.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said the prosecution distinguished between “law enforcement provisions related to demonstrations in general and between cases of hostilities that include attempts to infiltrate into Israel and carry out operations against soldiers and civilians.” According to the army, the difference lies in the use of lethal force as a last resort in the first case while in the second lethal force is the first to be used.

Read: Israel refuses to disclose open-fire policy for Gaza

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