Saturday, January 23, 2021

Palestinian Protest and Kashmir Unrest: Why are the Casualties So High?

What is the similarity between Kashmir and Palestinian Unrest and Protests? One thing is common, i.e. the civilian casualties in both Kashmir and Palestine are very high. Israel’s decision to open live fire in Gaza to control the Palestinian protest has led to serious repercussions. Israel has many non-lethal techniques and methods, then why were snipers brought in to curb the Palestinian protest? Israel is now under scrutiny and struggling with an explanation about the lethal actions against the Palestinian protest. An analysis by the EurAsian Times. 

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On Monday, the Israeli troops resorted to snipers and live fire, killing around sixty Palestinians and injuring over 1000. This lethal action against the Palestinian protest may lead to investigations and actions by the international legal authorities, against PM Netanyahu’s government. As reported by Bloomberg, a Human Rights spokesperson from Israel said:

“It’s simply unacceptable and outrageous to use live fire, not as the last resort but as the basic modus operandi for dealing with these demonstrations”

Palestinian Protest on Israeli Border Faces Bullets

Over forty thousand people from Gaza led the Palestinian protest on Israeli border on the 14th of May. This protest was against the US embassy transfer to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv. According to the protestors, this transfer negates all peace efforts and undermines their efforts for statehood. The use of live fire by the Israeli troops was a stark contradiction to the inaugural festivities at the new embassy.

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There was an aggressive mob at the border, with some protesters throwing rocks and petrol arsenal; while witnesses say most protestors were not armed. Around 8 protestors with wire cutters tried to cross the border with armed weapons and were shot dead by the Israeli troops. An Israeli Army official explained that the troops tried using non-lethal methods to curb the Palestinian protest, but the methods failed. They stated:

“We are defending ourselves against terrorists and rioters. We shoot in order to stop them so that they cannot harm the security infrastructure and infiltrate into Israel.”

Kashmir Unrest 2016–18

If we look at the 2016–18 Kashmir Unrest and Protests, it commenced with the killing of famous local militant Burhan Wani, a commander of the terrorist organisation – Hizbul Mujahideen. After he was gunned down by the Indian army, anti-Indian protests erupted in Kashmir Valley in all the 10 districts. Protesters defied curfew and attacked, just like the Palestinians, the security forces. The modus operandi in both Kashmir and Palestine was quite similar – hurling stones and petrol bombs.

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The valley of Kashmir remained under the curfew for 53 consecutive days and the Indian forces used pellet guns, tear gas, rubber bullets, as well as live fire (just like the Israel security forces)  resulting in the deaths of more than 90 civilians, with injuries to over 15,000 civilians. The civilian casualty in both the India and Israeli encounters was high. India claims the rebellion in Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan and reason for high casualties in Jammu and Kashmir is due to overground operatives who disrupt the operation against Kashmiri Militants and attack the Indian security forces.

Lethal Actions Against the Palestinian Protest Is Non-Justifiable

Israel is the 7th largest exporter in the world for arms and ammunition. The nation boasts of developing highly effective non-lethal weapons; especially made to curb the Palestinian protests in Gaza. Thus, the use of snipers and bullets is non-justifiable. A UN coordinator for peace process stated:

“Israel has a responsibility to calibrate its use of force, to not use lethal force, except as a last resort, under imminent threat of death or serious injury. It must protect its borders, but it must do so proportionally and investigate every incident that has led to a loss of human life.”

The recent actions by the Israeli troops have received much criticism from other countries. An investigation against the actions has been requested by the Palestinian authority asking the International Criminal Court to take necessary action. The Palestinian protest and the unrest in Gaza are only making the people more and more anxious.

Must Read at EurAsian Times: We Killed Kashmiri Pandits because they were Indian Agents

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