The Israeli military contends that it has fired judiciously and precisely to prevent damage to the border fence or harm to its soldiers as protesters, spurred on by Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, have hurled stones and firebombs and rolled burning tires.
Israel says it also acted to prevent a mass breach of the border that would have led to greater bloodshed and to block Hamas, which Israel, like much of the western world, classifies as a terrorist group, from using the protests as a cover for armed attacks.
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The latest footage, however, comes after a series of earlier videos from the Gaza side appeared to show unarmed protesters being shot, and after a Gazan journalist wearing a protective vest clearly marked with a “PRESS” sign was killed on Friday.
Even if months old, the latest video — shot, unusually, from the Israeli side — appeared to undermine Israel’s arguments as it battles international censure and accusations of employing disproportionate force and to provide critics of its policies with additional grist.
“Incidents such as the one in the video published today occurred hundreds of times over the past few weeks in the Gaza Strip, causing death and injuries — with the full support of policymakers and top military officials,” Btselem, an Israeli human rights organization, said in a statement. “Btselem is deeply sorrowed by the manifestly illegal commands ordering soldiers to shoot at people who pose no threat.”
Breaking the Silence, an Israeli veterans organization that opposes Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, wrote on Twitter, “This isn’t from a few months ago, it’s been 51 years,” referring to the 1967 war when Israel captured the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Israel unilaterally withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but together with Egypt it has imposed a blockade on the isolated coastal territory, citing security grounds.
Also Monday, the Norwegian Refugee Council, a nongovernmental organization, provided some of the last footage taken by Yasser Murtaja, 30, the Gazan journalist who was killed on Friday. Mr. Murtaja, a photographer with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency, had been covering the border protests against the blockade and for the return to lands in what is now Israel. He was supposed to start documenting the struggle of Palestinian refugees in Gaza for the Norwegian Refugee Council.
The footage, some of it shot by a drone, shows protesters praying, burning tires and facing off against the Israeli soldiers. Mr. Murtaja shot video of injured men being rushed away on stretchers and in ambulances, and being treated in a makeshift field hospital.