Friday, April 13, 2007

Israeli soldiers use Palestinian youths as ‘human shield’ (with video)

IDF soldiers use Nablus youths as ‘human shield’

(Video) Peace activist films IDF soldiers ordering two Palestinian youths to stand in front of their vehicle to prevent locals from stoning it; military advocate general orders investigation into incident, commanding officer suspended

Ali Waked

Latest Update: 04.12.07, 23:52 / Israel News

VIDEO - Despite repeated promises by the Israel Defense Forces not to make use of Palestinian civilians as ‘human shields’ during its activity in the territories, troops operating in Nablus were filmed ordering two Palestinian youths to stand in front of their vehicle to protect it from stones thrown by locals.

Video: Research Journalism Initiative

The act, which was also in violation of a Supreme Court decision from 2005, was filmed by a foreign activist on Wednesday in Nablus’ Sheikh Munis neighborhood, where the soldiers encircled the home of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member Abed el-Qadr.

During the operation the IDF forces demolished the house, but it later turned out that el-Qadr was not on the premises.

Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian youths threw stones at an IDF Hummer that was securing the soldiers encircling the house. According to foreign peace activists at the scene, the soldiers then ordered two youths who happened to pass by to stand in front of the vehicle in order to stop the stone-throwing.

The peace activist who filmed the act told Ynet, “The soldier closest to me said they were only asking the youths to tell their friends to stop throwing stones.”

He said he eventually stopped filming so as not top upset the soldiers, but added that the incident continued for “several more minutes.”

The activist said this is the first time he had seen soldiers ordering Palestinians to serve as human shields for army vehicles, but added that in the past few months he had witnessed a number of incidents in which soldiers used Palestinian civilians during their activity.

Following the video’s publication on Ynet, Military Advocate General Avihai Mandelblit ordered an investigation into the incident, and Central Command chief Yair Naveh ordered the suspension of the commanding officer.

First Published: 04.12.07, 21:20

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