MAGHAZI, Gaza – Fourteen-year-old Wisal Sheikh Khalil had masterminds and tried to break Gaza's border fence in Israel when she was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Monday, her younger brother said. who was with her at the time?
She was one of at least 60 Palestinians killed by Israeli troops during protests this week along the fence, local health officials said.
Israel 's snipers look from their nests to mounds on the other side of the. The Israeli military officers said they were murdered. These officials also say that Israeli soldiers have been allowed to use live ammunition to shoot "instigators" among "insurgents" at the de facto border. In both cases, the orders should aim at the legs, so Khalil was shot in the head.
The Israeli military refuses to elaborate on its rules of engagement and says they are classified. But human rights groups say the few details of the Israeli military make it clear that the orders given to the soldiers are illegal. These groups accuse the Israeli military of not making enough efforts to use other means to disperse crowds.
Israeli officials say the soldiers are acting within international law against a mob led by Hamas militant group, which seeks to break into Israel and carry out terrorist attacks.
Israel has voiced broad international criticism for its alleged use of excessive force and faces the question of why the protests of most unarmed Palestinians end in such horrific bloodshed. Pictures and eyewitness accounts of the demonstrations seem to contradict Israel's claim that his military response was calibrated precisely and carefully and should only be killed as a last resort.
"Fighting or attacking a fence is an insult," said Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer. "This needs to be counteracted but met with reasonable force – there is not a meter that I know would be so important to the security of the border fence for the life of a 14-year-old."
Sfard represents human rights groups, the colonel Court of Israel request to challenge the legality of the live fire rules of the military during the demonstrations in Gaza this month. He said that the only legal justification for using live ammunition against civilians is that they "pose an immediate threat to the lives of others."
In the government's response, Israel argues that the protests can not be classified as civilian They are part of the "armed conflict" between Israel and Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip. "The state opposes the application of human rights during an armed conflict," said Israel's response.
The border is generally defended by two barbed wire fence positions and Israeli snipers are positioned within 100 meters of the barrier.
Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said soldiers would not shoot to kill a fence trimmer like Khalil. He said it was a "hectic area with smoke and fire and many moving people". He added, "The order given to our troops is to shoot."
But several videos have appeared that seem to show Israeli forces shooting unarmed protesters. A video in April showed a Palestinian running away from the border fence with a tire before being shot in the head.
Israeli military officials said they had not changed and warned their rules of engagement during nearly seven weeks of protests. There were orders to "use a lot of force" and sweat ammunition when soldiers or infrastructure were in danger. At least 111 Palestinians have been killed during the protests, health officials from the Gaza Strip say.
Israeli officials praise the actions of their forces to protect the border. Following a meeting with security chiefs on Monday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement stating that the "determined actions" of the Israeli military had "prevented a breach of Israeli borders."
The Israeli military reported explosives on the fence and a firing attack by eight Hamas militants in an armored vehicle. In such cases, Israeli troops shoot to kill, Conricus said.
The military says that Hamas uses women and children as shields and, as a justification for the armed response, says some of those killed were known fighters. Israel said at least 24 Palestinians killed Monday have been linked to Islamic Jihad or Hamas.
Before the protest, the Hamas leaders had roused protesters and urged them to break the fence. Most residents of Gaza are descendants of refugees expelled from areas of Israel in 1948. They demonstrated against Israel's blockade of more than a decade and their right of return.
"The entire border insurrections are carried out under the motto of the march of return." What is the return? "To destroy Israel," said Yossi Kuperwasser, a retired Israeli military brigadier, who also served as Director-General of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and shared a common Israeli perspective, saying that if the military did not prevent them from crossing, he said would be a disaster for all. "
Human rights groups say that fear does not justify the use of deadly force against unarmed demonstrators, if that does not pose an immediate threat.
" Israel uses this nightmare scenario to prohibit the use of sharp Amit Gilutz, spokesman for B'Tselem, who published an adver- tising campaign urging soldiers not to fire at unarmed demonstrators in Gaza, "but this is a futuristic scenario that did not happen . "
He blamed the Israeli military for not having a better We g for the dispersal of crowds.
"If it values the lives of the Palestinians, other resources are available to a very powerful, sophisticated military," Gilutz said.
Israeli military says it only uses live ammunition as a last resort. But the only other way to dispel the Gaza protesters was tear gas, a senior Israeli military official said during a tour of the fence last week.
He said Israeli soldiers did not shoot rubber-coated bullets that were used elsewhere because they lacked sufficient reach. Trucks that emit stinking water known as the "skunk" that Israel regularly uses in the West Bank were not used, he said, adding that they lacked reach and were not armored.
Asked whether Israel could use less lethal methods to stem the demonstrators, Yaakov Amidror, Israel's former security adviser and senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, said such a question is an example for those who "sit" You can sit in an air-conditioned office, drink coffee and give advice to the Israeli army, which is aimed at many thousands of Palestinians.
But Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group that collects testimony from past and serving Israeli soldiers "The use of live ammunition should be seen in a wider context."
"That's common for us try to suppress with a heavy response by trying to break the people's will, "he said, pointing to the first month of the second Palestinian uprising or" intifada "against Israel, as the military was spending more in the first month alone
Mourners gathered in Khalil's grandparents' home in Maghazi, a refugee camp in the center of Gaza, to pay their respects.The family is not affiliated with Hamas, but supports their rival, the Fatah Nationalist group with their yellow flags hanging in.
Khalil's mother told how her daughter had been at the demonstration for weeks had been looking forward to. In recent weeks she had filled bags with stones to carry them to the stone throwers at the front. Her mother said she had tried to stop her from protesting this week, but Khalil was determined.
"Maybe I'll die, but others will come in," she reminded her daughter. "She always said that if we free our land, we will find a house and say that if I die, I would be less of a burden."
Hazem Balousha contributed to this report.