Amnesty International has called on the Israeli state to undertake a full, impartial and independent investigation into the Israeli military actions during the Nakba day commemorations. At least 12 people were killed and hundreds injured around the West Bank and on Israel’s borders to Lebanon and Syria and the Gaza Strip. “Amnesty International is seriously concerned at reports that the Israeli military used excessive force, killing and maiming individuals who were not posing a threat to the lives of the soldiers or others”, the organisation said in a press release yesterday. The report noted claims of the extensive use of tear gas, rubber coated bullets, stun grenades and live bullets.

The organisation also raised concerns that the controversial Israeli “Nakba laws”, recently passed by the Knesset, are contradictory to basic rights of free speech. The laws allow for the withdrawal of funding to any organisation in Israel that is viewed to commemorate “al Nakba”, or “the disaster”, the term used to describe the foundation of the Israeli state and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel.