B’Tselem encourages IDF soldiers to refuse orders to open fire on Palestinian protesters

Ahead of Friday’s expected border protests, B’Tselem is calling on IDF soldiers to refuse to comply with orders to shoot the Palestinian protesters in Gaza if they approach the security fence. According to the left-wing group, the soldiers have an “obligation” to refuse to carry out these orders because they would be committing a crime if they followed them.
Protesters gather in Khan Yunis Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

B’Tselem announced Wednesday that it has prepared a new campaign calling on Israeli soldiers stationed along the Gaza border to refuse orders to open fire on Palestinian protesters. “Ahead of the protests expected on Friday, [the organization] is reiterating that shooting unarmed protesters is against the law and orders to open fire in this case are obviously illegal,” the left-wing human rights group said in a statement.

The organization also released the campaign poster, which bears a picture from last Friday’s massive protests with the message: “Sorry commander, I’m not going to shoot.” The poster also warns the soldiers that while they are not the ones personally responsible for the orders, they have an “obligation” to refuse them because by following them, they would be committing a criminal offense.

B’Tselem added that Israel’s actions, just like the actions of any other country in the world, are “subjected to international law, which limit the use of weapons in general and the use of live fire in particular. Israel is not allowed to simply decide that these rules do not apply to it.”

Meanwhile, the Coordinating Committee of the Great March of Return has established a special committee to collect evidence and build cases against IDF soldiers and officers who were involved in Israel’s response to Friday’s massive border protests, according to Hadashot news.

The committee, which plans to accuse the Israeli servicemen of war crimes, reportedly includes several legal experts from different countries and the Palestinian Authority. As part of committee’s efforts to build cases against the Israelis, the organizers of the march are asking the tens of thousands of Palestinian participants to hand over any pictures or videos from the event.

In the massive “March of Return” event, 17 Palestinians were killed. The IDF stressed that the people who were shot had approached the security fence and were threatening the soldiers on the other side of the border. In addition, the Israeli military clarified that at least 11 of the Palestinians who were killed were known terrorists. Two of them even opened fire on IDF soldiers during the event.

Click Here for more reports by Becca Noy

Found mistakes in this report? - Click Here

JerusalemOnline News Feed