Israelis 'use girl as human shield'

Israeli human rights organisation say Israelis used 11-year-old girl in operation.

    A Palestinian was pictured apparently being used by Israeli troops as a human shield [EPA]

    'I was afraid'

     

    The soldiers, she said, threatened to arrest her unless she led them to a nearby house.

     

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    "[A soldier] ordered me to go towards the house," B'Tselem quoted the girl as saying.

     

    "Three soldiers walked behind me. When we reached the house, there were a lot of soldiers. The soldiers ordered me to go inside the house and I went inside."

     

    B'Tselem said Jihan told them the soldiers asked about the rooms of the house. There was no mention in the report of whether troops found fighters inside.

     

    The girl said two soldiers then returned her home.

     

    "[One of the soldiers] told me, 'Thank you, but don't tell anyone,'" the girl said, according to B'Tselem.

     

    "I was afraid they would kill me or put me in jail. I am still afraid the soldiers will invade the city again and take me away."

     

    Shot dead

     

    B'Tselem said evidence it had collected from the girl and other Palestinians with similar experiences indicated that the soldiers feared the houses they searched hid armed militants or that explosives had been planted in them.

     

    It said the "human shields" was given tasks that "undoubtedly  included an element of danger and it seems clear that the soldiers were aware of this".

     

    B'tselem also said the army had used a 15-year-old Palestinian boy and a Palestinian man for a similar purpose during the five-day raid in Nablus.

     

    During the incursion, troops shot dead a Palestinian civilian who had observed the raid from his rooftop.

     

    Soldiers also detained 11 suspected fighters.

     

    The Israeli army ended the operation on March 1.

     

    Israeli law bans the military from using people as human shields.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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