Violations of the right to life ''Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life''. [ICCPR, Article 6(1).]
Without proper investigations, which are not taking place, it is impossible to say how many of those killed by the IDF were armed Palestinians who were actively engaged in targeting Israeli forces. However, the use of force by the IDF appears to have been disproportionate and often reckless. There are also reports of extrajudicial executions.
The IDF incursions into Palestinian refugee camps and towns have encountered resistance by Palestinian armed groups. Amnesty International delegates witnessed the exchanges of fire between the two sides on two occasions during their recent visit.
- In Jabaliya on 13 March 2002 five Israeli tanks rolled into Salah al-Din Street, the main street of Jabaliya, flattening a car (a seemingly gratuitous act of vandalism as the road is extremely wide) and terrifying the population, especially the small girls from a primary school who had just ended their morning lessons; the five- to seven-year-olds ran weeping down the street trying to escape. The tanks were fired on from the roofs of houses by armed Palestinians. The Kalashnikov bullets were ineffective against tanks and the IDF clearly had orders not to respond to the fire. The incursion passed off without casualties apart from the material damage and the trauma to the children and the population.
- On 17 March Amnesty International delegates in Deheisheh camp and Bethlehem witnessed heavy exchanges of fire by both members of the IDF and armed Palestinian groups. Delegates saw some 200 armed Palestinians in civilian dress as they passed through the streets of Deheisheh and Bethlehem. Palestinian bystanders, including children, in the town appeared to be at risk of being targeted by the IDF or shot by either side in crossfire. During Amnesty International's research in other areas its delegates were told that Palestinians who had weapons and who were not members of armed groups had shot at the IDF forces. During Israel's incursion into Jabaliya on 11-12 March the IDF unlawfully killed bystanders by shooting randomly. Any Palestinian seen by the IDF on the top of a building appeared to be targeted by the IDF. In addition, there were many cases in all areas where Palestinians who apparently misunderstood instructions by the IDF - standing still, or coming forward or retreating when ordered to do something different - were shot. One IDF conscript told Amnesty International in February: ''Any person that is considered a threat can be killed. 'Threat' is a very fluid notion - as big as the ocean''.