[JURIST] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) [official website] have launched a criminal probe into allegations that IDF troops used Palestinians as human shields during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank in late February. An AP reporter caught one February 25 incident on video [BBC recorded video]; the footage was subsequently broadcast on March 15. The IDF investigation was announced shortly after the alleged incidents and is ongoing. The probe is focused on whether the soldiers involved violated a 2005 Israel Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] prohibiting the use of Palestinian human shields as a violation of the Geneva Conventions and other international agreements. Article 51(7) of the 1977 Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions [text] provides:
The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations.Since the airing of the video, several other Palestinians have come forward with allegations that IDF soldiers used them as human shields. AP has more.