The United Nations special rapporteur to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza said on Thursday he was “very concerned” by Israel’s use of live fire in dealing with Arab terrorists during stabbing attacks.
“Lethal force is supposed to be used as a last resort and only when there is a legitimate threat to a security officer’s life,” Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, told AFP.
Lynk, who took over the role in March and has so far been denied a visa to visit, said this rule was “being neglected.”
More than 200 Arab terrorists have been eliminated during attacks on Jews since October 2015. Dozens of Israelis have been murdered by such terrorists in the same period.
Israel has dismissed allegations of excessive force in most cases, saying its officers do only what is necessary to protect lives.
Lynk compared the shootings of Arab terrorists to the stabbing attack by Yishai Shlissel on participants in a gay pride parade in Jerusalem last year that left one dead.
In that case, Lynk said, the attacker was wrestled to the ground.
“He was actually brought down and wasn’t actually physically harmed in any way,” Lynk said in a phone interview with AFP shortly after the release of his first report.
In some cases, Arab terrorists brandishing knives have also been captured without the use of weapons fire, though terrorists often charge security forces attempting to take them into custody, forcing them to open fire.
“If that kind of force can be used to neutralize an attacker with a knife, why can’t that be used with most of the alleged Palestinian assailants in similar circumstances?”
Israel has long accused the special rapporteur position of being inherently biased as it is only mandated to investigate alleged Israeli abuses.
Lynk, like his predecessors, has so far been refused a visa and he said Israeli officials have also refused his offer to meet in North America, where the Canadian is based as a law professor at Western University in Ontario.
Lynk said the idea of extending his mandate to include rights abuses by all sides was “something I am open to and am considering.”