Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday heard the first legal challenge of the military’s open-fire rules, after 39 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,700 wounded by Israeli fire during mass protests on the Gaza border over the past month.
The hearing came amid growing international criticism of Israel for its use of lethal force and a mounting casualty toll since the weekly protests, organized by Gaza’s ruling Hamas, began in late March. Organizers say the mass demonstrations are to continue for at least two more weeks, with some threatening a mass border breach.
The court is not expected to rule before next week, in what human rights lawyer Michael Sfard said is the first broad review of the army’s rules of engagement in almost three decades.
On Monday, six human rights groups asked the Supreme Court to declare as unlawful any regulations that allow soldiers to open fire at unarmed civilians.