New U.N. report: Israel used unnecessary force

Israel’s military used unnecessary force against protesters in Lebanon who tried to breach the border during demonstrations on Nakba Day, a United Nations report said.

The report, given to members of the U.N. Security Council and obtained by the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, was prepared by the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has severed contact with Williams until further notice over the report, according to the newspaper.

Seven Lebanese protesters died during the May 14 demonstrations marking the day that Israel became an independent state. The report said that Israeli troops used live fire against the 8,000 to 10,000 demonstrators trying to breach the border fence, who were unarmed.

“I call on the Israel Defense Forces to refrain from responding with live fire in such situations, except where clearly required in immediate self-defense,” the report issued by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. — jta