Israeli forces intervening in a Nakba Day demonstration in the West Bank last week shot and killed two teenage protestors, an incident the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Hanan Ashrawi called a “deliberate execution.” Israel Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon defended the soldiers’ actions, and the IDF maintained that they used only riot control techniques and no live fire.
Now, the United States and the United Nations are both calling for an investigation into the two deaths after footage surfaced appearing to show the soldiers using live fire as well as suggesting that the victims were unarmed, JTA reports. According to the Times of Israel, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the office was looking into the incident.
“We look to the government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators,” Psaki said, adding, “we are encouraging the government of Israel to conduct their own investigation.”
The U.N. Security Council also called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into the shootings. The ADL, meanwhile, has condemned the international community’s “rush to judgement,” insisting that the IDF should be allowed to conduct a full investigation before other global bodies get involved.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.