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Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002

Human shields’ banned

August 19, 2002

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— Israel's Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction Sunday barring the army from using unwilling Palestinian civilians to knock on suspicious doors, enter buildings it believes might be booby-trapped and pick up dubious packages.

The ruling came in response to a filing earlier in the day by a coalition of seven human-rights groups.

Charges that the army has been using "human shields" hit the headlines last week when a 19-year-old Palestinian, Nidal abu Muhsein from the West Bank village of Tubas, was handed a bulletproof vest and sent by the army to knock on the door of a nearby house. Wanted Hamas leader Nasser Jerar was holed up inside.

Muhsein who had no police record and was never under suspicion knocked, the door opened, and the teenager fell dead in a hail of bullets. It's a matter of debate who started the shooting. The Israeli military then bulldozed the house and killed Jerar, who was wanted on suspicion of planning several attacks against Israelis, as Muhsein's body lay amid the rubble.

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