The UN report into this years Nakba Day events along the Lebanese-Israeli borders has criticized Israels use of disproportionate force against protesters seeking to cross into Israeli held territory. The events of May 15th led to eleven Palestinian protesters being killed and 111 injured due to Israeli live fire. According to Israeli news agency Haaretz the report into Israel’s actions on Nakba Day, May 15th, of this year has concluded that Israel made no attempt to use crowd control methods against protester trying to cross the Syrian-Golan and Lebanese-Israeli borders. The army resorted to immediate live fire after warning shots, according to the report.
‘Other than firing initial warning shots, the Israel Defense Forces did not use conventional crowd control methods or any other method than lethal weapons against the demonstrators,’ the report states.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in concluding the report called on Israel to avoid using excessive force against protesters in the future. ‘I call on the Israel Defense Forces to refrain from responding with live fire in such situations, except where clearly required in immediate self-deafens’ Moon stated.
While the report was predominantly critical of Israeli forces role behind the fatalities it reported that the 1,000 protesters who broke from the main demonstration and attempted to cross the border initiated the violence by throwing stones and removing anti tank mines.
The reports author, UN special coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, has had all communication cut by Israel in response to the report.
16 people were killed by Israeli fire during demonstrations in Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza during Nakba Day this year. The annual event marks the mass forced exodus of some 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948 and their desire to return to those homes in what is now Israel.