Posted July 30, 2018 06:02:24 The soldiers who killed three American soldiers and wounded another during a protest march in the occupied West Bank were shot by Israeli soldiers in what appeared to be a botched operation, a human rights group said.
The soldiers were shot on July 30 after they refused to disperse after a protest in the village of Duma in the central West Bank.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement on Tuesday that a video showed the soldiers walking past the crowd and then firing into the crowd.
The video showed soldiers firing three shots into the air as they approach the crowd, the group said in the statement.
“We now know the soldiers acted in an unprofessional and dangerous manner.
There are clearly signs of a serious breach of the law of armed conflict, and the IDF has violated the rules of engagement by firing at unarmed civilians, including members of the public,” said David Callimachi, director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Program.
“The IDF must ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and ensure accountability for their actions.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday the soldiers “were defending themselves from terrorism” when they attacked the protesters, the military and the Israeli police.
“They were shooting into the sky to stop the attacks, to save lives,” he told reporters.
The incident comes days after Israeli troops killed two Palestinian youths in an ambush in the West Bank village of Hebron, killing one and wounding the other.
“Today, we have a war crime in which the IDF shot and killed three young men who were protesting in the town of Duda,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
“If they were unarmed, they would not have been shot and wounded.”
The incident was the latest in a string of killings and confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces since the start of the current offensive, which began on July 8.
Israel has vowed to maintain its military occupation of the West of the occupied Palestinian territory, while also targeting Palestinian infrastructure and military infrastructure.