Thursday, April 5, 2012

Israeli rights group urges army to investigate Land Day death

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem wrote Thursday to the country's military advocate urging a military police investigation into the death of a protester on Land Day in Gaza.

Israeli forces used live fire against the demonstrators at Erez crossing. Several dozen youths were shot in the arms or legs and sustained light wounds, B'Tselem says.

"It appears that soldiers used live ammunition despite having tear gas at their disposal, which they also used," the rights group said.

Its letter noted the events "raise a grave suspicion of illegal and unjustified use of live ammunition when soldiers were in no danger whatsoever. Land Day demonstrations were announced in advance and the army should have been prepared for demonstrations and clashes along Gaza’s border with Israel, in a way that would have enabled soldiers to use only non-lethal crowd control measures."

The group added: "The military’s preparedness for Land Day events should be scrutinized, including open-fire regulations provided to soldiers on the Gaza border and all other instructions concerning Land Day."Maan News Agency