Israel’s Use of Live Fire on Gaza Protesters Faces Court Challenge

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday heard a challenge to the country’s “open-fire rules,” after 39 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,700 were injured during recent protests at the Gaza border, according to the Associated Press. Six human-rights groups have asked the court to deem any regulations allowing Israeli soldiers to fire on unarmed civilians to be “unlawful.” They have requested that soldiers “follow the rules of engagement for law enforcement officers[.]” The Israeli military argued that the protests were taking place in the context of Hamas, and that open-fire regulations do not apply in armed conflict against the Islamic militant group. They also said the protests were used “as cover to damage the fence and carry out attacks.” Last week, a large group of Palestinians—some armed—charged the border and reportedly attempted to cross into Israel. Three died in the incident.