Geneva - Israeli officials authorizing and defending soldiers for premeditated murder of Palestinian children is alarmingly horrific, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights, expressing grave concern for the lives of unarmed protesters, including children, taking part in demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel separation fence.
The most recent statement by IDF Gen. (res.) Tzvika Fogel on Israel’s Kan radio encouraging the shooting of unarmed children posing no threat to soldiers’ life is incomprehensible and shocking, added the Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor, in a statement issued today.
Asked if the “IDF [should] rethink its use of snipers” fatally shooting unarmed protesters, Fogel responded that, “any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation.”
This is not the only statement to encourage Israeli soldiers to shoot unarmed protesters. Other officials who either ordered soldiers to use excessive force against protesters or defended their conduct include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as well as IDF Major and head of the Arab media division Avichay Adraee.
Such statements made by political leaders and senior military officials have encouraged soldiers to use excessive force and can be seen as “evidence of intent” to deliberately kill civilians, including children, on Gaza fence, which may constitute a war crime under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Since the beginning of the protests on March 30, Euro-Med’s team has documented the killing of 40 Palestinian protesters, including 5 children, who posed no threat to Israeli soldiers’ life. 5,008 other, including at least 700 children, were injured.
Euro-Med Monitor already sent urgent letters to ICC Prosecutor Mr. Fatou Bom Bensouda and the UNICEF, drawing their attention to these remarks, and calling for their immediate action to protect Palestinian children and to investigate the arbitrary killings committed by the Israeli snipers.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor reiterates its call for the International Criminal Court, and to all concerned international actors to act immediately in order to protect civilians from further harm.