UN Issues Report Condemning Israel for Unnecessary Use of Force Against Nakba Demonstrators

PNN – Palestine News Network – 06.07.11 – 11:16

New York – PNN – The United Nations has issued a report condemning Israel for its unnecessary use of force against the Nakba Day protesters.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and Prime Minister Netanyahu

The report, drafted by the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, criticizes Israel for the way in which it handled the more than 8,000 protesters, mostly Palestinian refugees, who marched to the border on Nakba Day.

Some of the protesters succeeded in crossing the border, and were greeted with open arms by the residents on the community on the Israel side, the Israeli army was not so welcoming, however.

“Following a verbal warning and firing into the air, the Israel Defense Forces then directed live fire at the protesters at the fence … killing seven civilians and injuring 111,” the report states.

According to an investigation by UNIFIL, the Palestinian demonstrators initiated the violence, and violated UN Security Council Resolution 1701.  However, such actions do not give Israel permission to use live ammunition, the report stated.

“I call on the Israel Defense Forces to refrain from responding with live fire in such situations, except where clearly required in immediate self-defense. Notwithstanding every country’s inherent right of self defense, there is a need for the Israel Defense Forces always to apply appropriate operational measures, including crowd control measures, which are commensurate to the imminent threat toward their troops and civilians,” the report states.

By using live fire against the demonstrators on the other side of the border, Israel also violated UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Israel has expressed anger at the report’s criticism of their handling of the Nakba Day protest.

Because of Williams’ strong criticism of Israel, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has made it unclear whether they will continue relations with the Special Coordinator for Lebanon according to a report in the Israeli website Haaretz

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