Safety and Security
As the Occupying Power Israel has the overall responsibility of ensuring law and order in the occupied territory. When maintaining law and order, Israel is bound to respect its humanitarian and human rights obligations. However on many occasions Israel has used excessive force and utilized lethal weapons against those who do not pose an imminent threat to life. In addition Palestinian authorities have also used excessive force in dealing with protests.
Use of Force by Israeli Armed Forces
Human rights organisations, such as B'Tselem and Al Haq have documented the routine use of lethal fire by Israeli forces, even in cases where neither military personnel nor civilians were in mortal danger. Even when "live" ammunition is not used, "non-lethal" weapons such as tear gas canisters and rubber bullets have maimed and at times killed civilians.
See B'Tselem Website on the "Use of fire arms" in the oPt.
As the occupying force, Israel must protect the Palestinians in the West Bank. However violence committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians is increasing in occurrance and so is the level of harm inflicted. Yet as stated by B'Tselem:
- The Israeli authorities...do not do enough to prevent Israeli civilians from attacking Palestinians, their property and their lands. The undeclared policy of the Israeli authorities in response to these attacks is lenient and conciliatory. Perpetrators are rarely tried, and many cases are not investigated at all or are closed with no operative conclusions.