A scene caught on tape by the Associated Press raised questions on the Israeli army practices in using Palestinian civilians as human shields during its invasion to the Palestinian occupied territories.A scene caught on tape by the Associated Press raised questions on the Israeli army practices in using Palestinian civilians as human shields during its invasion to the Palestinian occupied territories.
The scene captured by an AP crew showed a young Palestinian man, only waring shorts and a T-shirt during a cold winter morning, walking in front of heavily armed Israeli soldiers who were carrying out door-to-door attacks in three apartments in a neighborhood in the West Bank.
The young man, Sameh Amira, 24, was seen in the AP video walking in front of the soldiers up some stairs of an apartment entrance.
Amira had been awakened by the soldiers at 5 A.M, and was ordered to accompany the troops, along with his family, to a neighboring home. Later on, Amira was ordered to accompany the soldiers during their attacks,
The incident, which took place on Sunday in Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, casts doubt whether the army is implementing a High Court order barring the soldiers from using the Palestinian civilians as human shields.
Several Human Rights groups in Israel and the Palestinian territories described the military tactic as a violation to the international law that bars using civilians as human shields and placing them in the line of fire.
The Israeli army said that the tape “shows no wrongdoing on behalf of the soldiers”, but pledged to look into the incident by pressuring inquiry into the case, an Israeli online daily reported.
Moreover, the army stated that soldiers had been carrying out “broad arrest invasions in Nablus throughout the week”. The Israeli army claims that most suicide bombings, including an attempted attack last week, originated from Nablus area.
In 2005, the Israeli High Court issued a ruling barring the army from using Palestinian civilians as human shields during the invasions “even if the civilians volunteer to help”, according to the ruling.
The ruling clearly barred the army from using civilians to knock on the doors of houses with “suspected fighters”.
Yet, the army did not halt using Palestinian civilians as human shields in its invasions into Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.