It said it seemed that any Palestinian protesting in Gaza, regardless of whether they pose an imminent threat, is “liable” to be killed by Israeli forces.
“The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot,” rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.
“It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead,” he added, stressing that international laws which apply to Israel make clear that “lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort.”
“It is not acceptable to say that ‘this is Hamas and therefore this is OK’,” Colville added, in an apparent dismissal of Israel’s justification for the high casualty levels among Palestinians in clashes along the flashpoint border.
Israel accuses Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, of being behind the protests and says it is merely defending its territory.