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Israeli Supreme Court Gives Military 'Green Light' to Keep Killing Unarmed Palestinians

The rough translation, says one critic: "Court legalizes murder."

Members of the Palestinian community and their supporters march toward the Israeli consulate to protest President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Once more affirming its role as an enabler of Israel's brutal occupation and murder of Palestinians, the Israeli Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a legal effort by human rights groups to revoke military rules that permit soldiers to use live ammunition against unarmed civilians.

In its unanimous ruling—which comes less than two weeks after Israeli soldiers massacred more than 60 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and injured over 2,000—the high court gave "a green light" to Israel's "continued use of snipers and live fire against Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip" and "fully adopted the Israeli military's position," noted the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, one of the groups involved in the effort challenging the rules.

"The Israeli Supreme Court completely ignored the broad factual basis presented to it by the petitioners, which includes multiple testimonies of wounded and reports of international organizations involved in documenting the killing and wounding of unarmed protesters in Gaza," Al Mezan said in a joint statement with the Palestinian rights group Adalah on Thursday.

"Genocidal colonial settler state reaffirms legality of killing colonial subjects."
—Haymarket Books

"It is worth noting that the Israeli Supreme Court refused to watch video clips documenting Israeli shootings of demonstrators and, rather than actually examining the case, fully accepted the claims presented to it by the state," the groups added. "The extreme nature of the ruling is also highlighted by the striking absence of any mention of the casualty figures that had been presented to the court."

The Supreme Court's ruling prompted a flood of outrage on social media, with analysts and advocacy organizations arguing that the court is endorsing killings that have been condemned by most of the international community as unlawful and "horrifying."

As Common Dreams reported last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council has overwhelmingly voted to dispach war crimes investigators to probe Israel's killing of Palestinian protestors earlier this month.

"Those responsible for violations must in the end be held accountable," U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a speech denouncing Israel's massacre. "In this context, as in all conflicts where impunity is widespread, unless ended by a peace settlement, excessive violence—both horrifying and criminal—flows easily from the barrel of a gun."

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