[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n October 11, HRW reported one of its investigators shot by Israeli forces, a research assistant observing a peaceful Palestinian demonstration near Ramallah.
At least seven protesters were wounded by Israeli live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets, said HRW. Director Kenneth Roth issued a statement, saying:
“Indiscriminate or deliberate firing on observers and demonstrators who pose no imminent threat violates the international standards that bind Israeli security forces. It is particularly troubling when those seeking to monitor the security forces’ conduct are among the casualties.”
He stopped short of condemning Israel crimes of war and against humanity, ongoing for decades in Occupied Palestine, the casualty count from the latest incident increasing daily.
HRW didn’t name its wounded researcher. She’s also a freelance journalist. She was wearing a flak jacket clearly marked “press.” The incident occurred around 11:30PM on October 5. She called the Palestinian demonstration peaceful.
Israeli forces indiscriminately use live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and other implements of state terror against defenseless Palestinian civilians, posing no threat to anyone, just exercising their legitimate right to protest state-sponsored terrorism.
HRW’s researcher was wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets, live fire and exploding shrapnel. Soldiers opened fire without warning, she said, despite no visible threat at the time, an indiscriminate act of state terror.
She was treated at Ramallah hospital, then released. The incident occurred when up to around 200 protesters and observers “were milling around, including families and young people. some of whom were singing,” said HRW.
She was unaware of nearby Israeli soldiers until they opened fire – from which direction she didn’t know. Medic Fadi Asmar witnessed the incident, his five-year-old son with him.
“We didn’t see any soldiers near us,” he said. “That’s why we felt safe. No one was throwing rocks or anything. Soldiers just started shooting.”
The IDF failed to supply HRW with an explanation. It’s been “document(ing) unlawful use of force by Israeli security forces in policing demonstrations in the West Bank over many years, and in particular firing live ammunition that hit protesters, journalists, and human rights activists who posed no imminent threat to the forces,” a statement said. “The shooting of the Human Rights Watch research assistant is but the latest example.”
So far, over 800 Palestinians required hospital treatment for wounds inflicted since October 1, said HRW, including women and young children.
“A long record of impunity marks any attempt to investigate alleged violations by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” HRW stressed.
Israel scoffs at fundamental international laws. Rogue states operate this way. Horrific Palestinian suffering continues.