Conal Urquhart /The London Guardian & Saed Bannoura / IMEMC – 2005-09-07 00:06:52
Israeli Troops Given ‘Shoot-to-Kill’ Order
Conal Urquhart /The London Guardian
TEL AVIV (September 6, 2005) — Israeli military prosecutors have opened criminal investigations following allegations by soldiers that they carried out illegal shoot-to-kill orders against unarmed Palestinians.
The 17 separate investigations were prompted by the testimony of dozens of troops collected by Breaking the Silence, a pressure group of former Israeli soldiers committed to exposing human rights abuses by the military in suppressing the Palestinian intifada. The investigations cover a range of allegations, including misuse of weapons and other misuses of power.
Some of the soldiers, who also spoke to the Guardian, say they acted on standing orders in some parts of the Palestinian territories to open fire on people regardless of whether they were armed or not, or posed any physical threat.
The soldiers say that in some situations they were ordered to shoot anyone who appeared on a roof or a balcony, anyone who appeared to be kneeling to the ground or anyone who appeared on the street at a designated time. Among those killed by soldiers acting on the orders were young children.
While the background to the soldiers’ experience is the armed conflict that has been going on in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since October 2000, many of the shootings occurred in periods of calm when there was no immediate risk to the soldiers involved.
Yehuda Shaul, the co-founder of Breaking the Silence, said it aimed to show that individual soldiers were not to blame for killings of innocent Palestinians. “It is the situation which is to blame and that is created by military and political leaders, not the soldiers on the ground,” he said.
The testimonies shed light on how around 1,700 Palestinian civilians have been killed during the second intifada.
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Youth Killed in Khan Younis
Saed Bannoura /IMEMC & Agencies
(September 7, 2005) — A Palestinian medical source reported on Tuesday at night that an Israeli tank fired rounds of live ammunition at a group of Palestinian youth and children who gathered near the evacuated settlement of Moragh, killing one and injuring three others.
The source stated that Nimir Al Sa’dooni, 18, sustained a live round in his chest causing instant death, three other youth sustained moderate wounds.
The children were peacefully marching and celebrating the settlers’ withdrawal; an Israeli military spokesman claimed that soldiers fired at the residents after 40 – 50 youths ran into the settlement, while other climbed on a tank.
PA police was alerted than the youth entered the settlement, but the police did not show up, the source claimed.
Following the killing of the child, Palestinian resistance fired a Qassam homemade shell which landed in the western Negev, no injuries were reported.
Israeli military established issued a strict warning to the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday evening, demanding it to prevent any marchers from entering Gush Katif prior to the military withdrawal from the area.