Israel Rejects B’Tselem Accusations

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel rejected on Monday a human rights organization’s accusation of using excessive force in quelling Arab rioters.

The Israeli rights group B’Tselem contended in a report that the IDF “extensively and systematically violated” its own rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault. It said Israeli forces have killed 56 people since 2005 in clashes with rock-throwing Palestinians.

An IDF spokesman said the B’Tselem report “presents a biased narrative, relying primarily on incidents that are either old or still under investigation by the Military Police.”

“The IDF does everything in its power to ensure that the use of riot dispersal means is done in accordance with the rules of engagement,” the IDF said in a written response sent to Reuters.

The military said its soldiers are given “clearly defined” rules of engagement determined by operational considerations and legal consultation in order to minimize collateral damage and maintaining stability and security in the region.”

In the past two weeks, Israeli forces have shot dead two Palestinians in unrest that Israeli officials said may foreshadow a third intifada.