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Israel used ‘ruthless excessive force’ against Palestine protesters

Amnesty International has accused Israeli occupation police of using “ruthless excessive force” against “peaceful” Palestinian protesters in occupied East Jerusalem, a press release issued on Thursday revealed.

“Israeli police committed a catalogue of violations against Palestinians in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem – including using unlawful force against peaceful protesters, sweeping mass arrests, and subjecting detainees to torture and other ill-treatment,” the press release stated.

After listening to witnesses and analysing 45 videos and other forms of digital media, as well as documenting Israeli violence that led to wounding “hundreds” of Palestinians and killing a 17-year-old youth, Amnesty International found that the actions of Israeli police were “repressive and discriminatory”.

According to Amnesty International, Israeli police: “Failed to protect Palestinian citizens of Israel from premeditated attacks by groups of armed Jewish supremacists, even when plans were publicised in advance and police knew or should have known of them.”

The organisation added: “Police used unnecessary and excessive force to disperse Palestinian protests against forced evictions in East Jerusalem as well as against the Gaza offensive, while Jewish supremacists were allowed to organise demonstrations freely.”

Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Middle East deputy director, expressed: “The evidence gathered by Amnesty International paints a damning picture of discrimination and ruthless excessive force by Israeli police against Palestinians in Israel and in occupied East Jerusalem.”

“The few Jewish citizens of Israel arrested were dealt with more leniently. Jewish supremacists also continue to organise demonstrations while Palestinians face repression. Police have an obligation to protect all people under Israel’s control, whether they are Jewish or Palestinian. Instead, the vast majority arrested in the police crackdown following the outbreak of intercommunal violence were Palestinian.”

“This discriminatory crackdown was orchestrated as an act of retaliation and intimidation to crush pro-Palestinian demonstrations and silence those who speak out to condemn Israel’s institutionalised discrimination and systemic oppression of Palestinians.”

Following its research, Amnesty International called on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s recently-announced Commission of Inquiry to investigate the alarming pattern of violations by Israeli police.