The Israeli Information Center For Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B'Tselem) published a report regarding its findings of its investigation into the action by undercover forces that went awry in Ramallah on 4 January.!– @page { size: 21.59cm 27.94cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } –>B'Tselem said that as undercover forces of the Israeli army were exposed during an undercover operation, they confronted with Palestinian youth who hurled stones and petrol bombs at them. Troops opened fire at the youth killing four and injuring 40 residents, ten seriously.


The B'Tselem report revealed that none of the fatalities was armed, and that three of them took part in the confrontation.


After the forces cover was exposed, the army also used military helicopters as a cover-up for their withdrawal.


B'Tselem added that it “wrote to the Judge Advocate General of the Israeli military and demanded that he orders a Military Police investigation; this investigation should examine the legality of the decision to carry out the arrest operation”.


“It should also investigate whether the soldiers and Border Police officers fired illegally and caused extensive destruction of property in violation of international humanitarian law”, B'Tselem said.


B'Tselem also called on the Attorney General to instruct the army to stop using the undercover forces in any military attack that the army classifies as combat since the laws of warfare prohibit this act. Even combatants feigning civilian status come within this classification.


“The undercover soldiers and the officials who dispatch them may also bear individual responsibility for war crimes, given that injuring or killing a person while breaching the prohibition on perfidy is a war crime under international criminal law”, the B'Tselem report said.


Also, B'Tselem said that many Palestinian civilians were killed and injured since they were caught in the combat area without being aware of the presence of the undercover forces.


“Another reason for the prohibition on undercover forces is to prevent civilians from being marked for attack on suspicion they are combatants in disguise”, B'Tselem added.


B'Tselem stated in the report that even if Palestinian taking part in “hostilities” do not distinguish themselves from civilians, the army is still obliged to make the distinction.