Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem has launched a campaign titled “Sorry Commander, I Cannot Shoot,” calling on Israeli troops to refuse orders to shoot unarmed demonstrators.
“Our legitimate protest against Israeli military occupation, colonization and apartheid is granted in international law and must be protected by the international community. . . . The 70-year-old practice of Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy and dehumanization of the Palestinian people must end.”
— Dr. Husam Zomlot, Palestinian ambassador to Washington
Tens of thousands of residents in the besieged Gaza Strip plan on returning to the Israeli-controlled border Friday [Apr 6] in defiance of menacing promises from Tel Aviv to use massive and disproportionate force. The event will occur exactly one week after the Israelis massacred 17 unarmed demonstrators with live ammunition on Palestinian Land Day.
The protest is the latest in a six-week-long set of nonviolent protests meant to commemorate the continuing dispossession of the Palestinian people and the absorption of ancestral Palestinian land by the country now known as Israel.
The series of events will last until the 15th of May, a date making the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel — known to Palestinians as Nakba Day, or “The Day of Catastrophe” — when three-quarters of a million Palestinians were brutally displaced by Israeli militia in 1948.
On Wednesday, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at encampments near the security barrier to defy Israeli threats by enjoying camel races and dancing the Palestinian national dance, or dabke, in full view of occupation personnel, as demonstrators of all ages shared sweets and food while singing chants celebrating the resistance of the Palestinian people. . . .
Noting that troops would be ordered to fire on those who come within 100 meters of the fence, the Moldovan-born Minister of Defense added that “anyone who attempts to approach the fence is risking their life.”