Wednesday, 4 January 2017

HRW: Senior Israeli officials support 'shoot-to-kill' policy against Palestinians

In a report released Monday from Human Rights Watch (HRW), the group outlined instances when senior Israeli officials have either openly called for the extra-judicial killing of Palestinians or have failed to condemn the calls.

According to the group, there have been more than 150 instances since October 2015 where Israeli forces have “fatally shot Palestinian adults and children suspected of trying to stab, run over, or shoot Israelis in Israel and the West Bank.” The killings have been condemned by rights groups who say that at many times the alleged Palestinian assailants have been killed after they no longer posed a threat.

HRW said in the report that since 2015, the group had documented “numerous statements” made by senior Israeli politicians, including Israel’s defense minister and police minister “calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.”

Sari Bashi, the Israel advocacy director at HRW said in the report that “it’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell security forces to unlawfully shoot to kill.”

“Whatever the results of trials of individual soldiers, the Israeli government should issue clear directives to use force only in accordance with international law.” more