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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
IDF to appeal human shield ban
Israeli soldiers make a Palestinian resident enter a house in Nablus in August 2002
The practice of using human shields is against international law
The Israeli Defence Ministry will appeal against a supreme court ruling banning the use of Palestinian human shields in raids, officials said.

Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz is prepared to make a personal appearance in court to defend the practice, ministry officials added.

Human rights groups have frequently condemned the use of human shields.

The Israeli military believes that the use of Palestinian civilians can often defuse a tense situation.

Mr Mofaz is also set to argue that alternative methods of apprehending suspects, such as through the use of bulldozers, would endanger the lives of both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians, a military source said.

Early warning

The Israeli supreme court issued its formal ruling last week, saying the practice violates international law.

It had already issued a temporary injunction against the practice in 2002 after a teenager was killed when troops made him negotiate with a wanted militant.

The court ruled out both the placing of civilians in front of soldiers on operations and an "early warning" procedure employed by the army.

In this practice, the Israeli army would force local Palestinians to approach the homes of militants and ask them to surrender.

Israel and the Palestinians



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