IDF continues use of ‘neighbor procedure’

Soldiers Used Samir and Ahmad Abu ‘Amra as ‘Human Shields’

Before dawn on August 23, 2002, an armed Palestinian fled into the yard of a home in Deir Al-Balah, following an attempt to infiltrate the settlement of Kfar Darom. IDF soldiers forced two Palestinian civilians to locate the armed man and bring him out ‘dead or alive.’ Samir Abu ‘Amra, in whose yard the armed man was hiding, found the man wounded and holding a grenade.

The man refused to come out. Samir Abu ‘Amra related this to the soldiers, but they forced him to go back to the yard to get the armed man out, this time accompanied by his neighbor, Ahmad Abu ‘Amra. The two men went back to the yard while shots were being fired over their heads. When the incident was over, Samir Abu ‘Amra collapsed and required medical attention.

The IDF’s use of these two men as ‘human shields,’ thereby endangering their lives, constitutes a blatant violation of international law. In addition, it is a clear violation of the interim injunction issued by the High Court of Justice on August 18, 2002, forbidding the IDF from using the ‘neighbor procedure.’

Protecting the lives of soldiers is not the responsibility of the civilian population. Using civilians to perform military tasks is neither moral nor legal.

For more information

  • Use of ‘Human Shields’ Prohibited following Petition by Human Rights Organizations to the Israeli High Court of Justice
  • To view the State’s response to the petition
  • A Human ‘Defensive Shield’: IDF uses Palestinian Civilians as Human Shields
  • B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, 8 HaTa’asiya St. (4th Floor), Jerusalem 93420, Israel, Tel: 972-2-6735599, Fax: 972-2-6749111, E-mail:, Web: