Israel accused of rights abuses
|Saturday, March 3,2007 00:00|
An Israeli human rights group has accused the country’s government of using Palestinians as human shields during its raids on Nablus.The Israeli supreme court banned the practice two years ago.
Sameh Amira, a 24-year-old Nablus resident, said he thought he was going to die: "When I was walking ahead of them, I was expecting they would shoot bullets at any time.
Jessica Montell, executive director of B’tselem - the Israeli information centre for human rights in the occupied territories - said: "It’s a clear case - the Israeli supreme court has determined it is illegal and the Israeli military has committed to not using this ’neighbour’ procedure or any other kind of human shield by using Palestinians for these dangerous operations."
In a faxed message, an Israeli spokesperson said the army had seen the footage and does not see any instance of the illegal use of civilians.
However, the statement pledged to pursue a thorough inquiry.
Fifty-thousand Nablus residents were placed under curfew last weekend when Israeli security forces sealed off the centre of the town and began a house-to-house search for fighters.
One Palestinian was killed during the operation. Israel says they found three explosives laboratories and detained a number of suspects.