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Israel Supreme Court backs army's shooting of unarmed protesters

Israeli security forces fire at Palestinians who are protesting to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba in Bethlehem, West Bank on 14 May 2018 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli Supreme Court has fully backed the army's policy of shooting unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip, issuing its decision yesterday in response to two petitions filed by human rights groups.

According to legal rights centre Adalah, one of the petitioners, the court's decision gives a "a green light to its continued use of snipers and live fire against Palestinian protesters".

Three Supreme Court justices unanimously rejected both petitions, one of which was filed by Adalah and Al-Mezan, the other by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Yesh Din, Gisha and HaMoked.

Adalah and Al-Mezan responded late yesterday night to the ruling, stating: "The Israeli Supreme Court completely ignored the broad factual basis presented to it by the petitioners, which includes multiple testimonies of wounded and reports of international organisations involved in documenting the killing and wounding of unarmed protesters in Gaza".

It is worth noting that the Israeli Supreme Court refused to watch video clips documenting Israeli shootings of demonstrators and, rather than actually examining the case, fully accepted the claims presented to it by the state.

"The extreme nature of the ruling is also highlighted by the striking absence of any mention of the casualty figures that had been presented to the court," the statement added.

Adalah and Al-Mezan noted that "the Supreme Court's ruling gives full legitimacy to the illegal actions of the Israeli military, which has led to the killing of more than 100 people and the wounding of thousands of protesters, including women, children, journalists, and paramedics. Of those killed, 94 percent were shot by Israeli troops in the upper body."

Read: Medics in Gaza report Israel forces using devastating 'butterfly bullet'

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