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  • ACRI

Use of Palestinian Residents as 'Human Shields' in Hebron

Video from November 10 2023 at the al-Fawwar Refugee Camp, Hebron

On November 10 2023, a video was released from al-Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron showing a Palestinian detainee sitting on the road, blindfolded while a soldier was hiding behind him and shooting over his shoulder in the direction of the crowd. On January 16, 2024, a video filmed in the town of Dura, also in Hebron, was  published showing a soldier leading a man while threatening him with a weapon aimed at his head. The man in the video said that the officer ordered him to go with the soldiers so they wouldn't throw stones at them and that they led him with a weapon pointed at his head for half an hour. Meanwhile, stones were thrown around him and the soldiers responded with gunfire.

Following the publications, we urgently sent legal correspondence (Hebrew) to the  Military General, demanding that it issue an immediate and unequivocal clarification to the forces on the ground regarding the absolute prohibition on using residents as human shields in military operations. Attorney Roni Peli of ACRI noted that according to the Geneva Convention, it is absolutely forbidden to use residents of occupied territory ("protected residents") as human shields, and this absolute prohibition was also the basis of the 2005 High Court of Justice ruling that prohibited the use of Palestinians as human shields.

The correspondence noted that if there had been documentation of one case, it could have been assumed that a mistake had been made, but two cases documented at different times and in the same space attest to policy. Therefore, in addition to issuing an unequivocal clarification to the forces, we demanded that an investigation be opened into the incidents and, in accordance with its results, that the commanders and documented soldiers be brought to justice.

Following our inquiry, a Military Police investigation was opened regarding one of the cases.


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