UN report slams Israel for using ‘unnecessary force’ on Palestinian protesters

Washington, July 7: The United Nations has sharply criticized Israel for using live ammunition in May against Palestinian protesters who tried to scale an Israeli security fence on the Lebanese border.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a confidential report to the UN Security Council, also accused Israel of violating the 2006 cease-fire agreement that ended the six-week conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group.

The report also accuses about 1,000 protesters of a group of 10,000 that day of violating the cease-fire by carrying out a "provocative and violent act," the paper said.

The UN blamed Israel for turning too quickly to live ammunition to stop the protesters advancing on the Israeli border.

"Other than firing initial warning shots, the Israel Defense Forces did not use conventional crowd-control methods or any other method than lethal weapons against the demonstrators," the report said.

"The act constituted a violation of (the cease-fire) resolution and was not commensurate to the threat to Israeli soldiers," it added.

The report said that after "Israeli forces directed live fire at the protesters" which led to the casualties, Lebanese Army reinforcements "managed quickly to push back the crowd, using batons, tear gas and heavy firing in the air."

"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," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the conclusion of the report.

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com