Israel using banned arms against Gaza protesters, watchdog says

African asylum seekers and Israelis protest against the African asylum seekers deportation in front of the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. Abir Sultan  EPA

Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees be granted the "right of return" to their towns and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Israel, it added, "like any other country in the world, is subject to global law which restricts the use of weapons in general and live ammunition in particular [against unarmed demonstrators]".

Nuriel explained that Israeli security forces had to prevent people from breaching, damaging or infiltrating the fence to protect Israel's security. It says the border fence was attacked with burning tires, stones and firebombs, and in one case, by a pair of gunmen in recent days.

Israel says more than half of the dead were members of militant groups, including the armed wing of Hamas.

United Nations deputy political affairs chief Taye-Brook Zerihoun, commenting on the violence, has said lethal force should only be used as a last resort.

Israel on Wednesday released from detention a small group of African migrants who had been awaiting deportation after the collapse of an worldwide deal to send them to Rwanda.

Last week Hamas called on protesters to behave peacefully, a call again made by the protest organizers - a collection of Palestinian factions - earlier this week. Between 2006 and 2013, more than 64,000 asylum-seekers, most hailing from Eritrea or Sudan, traversed the Sinai desert and crossed the Egyptian border into Israel.




Some 200 additional migrants are still being held at the Saharonim detention center in southern Israel awaiting possible deportation to Uganda but their fate depends on whether an Israeli envoy who visited the east African state on Wednesday had managed to secure a deal for them to be taken in.

Rev Mellor and Baker said:"We pray for a resolution of the conflict in the region, for the end to occupation and a just resolution for Palestinian refugees".

While nationalist activists celebrated Netanyahu's reversal, dozens of migrants and their Israeli supporters protested in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The death brings the toll for Friday's clashes to 18 Palestinians killed, with two more killed since the border protest.

"We have defined the rules of the game clearly and we do not intend to change them", Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said as he toured the frontier on Tuesday.

All of the above a little over a month ahead of the 70th anniversary -on May 15- of the establishment of Israel - "an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe".

As the International Committee of the Red Cross noted, Israel's own manual on the Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, published in 2006, acknowledged that "even the tear gas used by the police to disperse demonstrations is a chemical weapon and thus prohibited under the Protocol". "The impact is felt on every level - the assassinations in Gaza, the internal Palestinian reconciliation and the fight against Israel - everywhere".

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