'Stop using undercover troops'

B'Tselem's demands follow earlier IDF operation in West Bank which left 4 civilians dead.

gaza beach shelling 298 (photo credit: )
gaza beach shelling 298
(photo credit: )
The B'Tselem human rights group called on the IDF on Thursday to stop using undercover troops in Palestinian areas after four civilians were killed in a West Bank military operation. The group demanded in a letter to the army's Judge Advocate General that he order the army to stop dressing soldiers in civilian clothes in secret military operations, saying the practice violates international laws. The letter was prompted by a Jan. 4 Israeli arrest raid involving undercover troops in the West Bank city of Ramallah in which four Palestinian civilians were killed. The civilians would have stayed clear of the area if the soldiers had been wearing uniforms, B'Tselem said. "The incident in Ramallah is a clear example of why the prohibition on combatants feigning civilian status was created," the group wrote in a release. "Many civilians were killed and wounded after being caught unawares in the area." The army said its legal department was looking into B'Tselem's report.