Rights group: Israeli troops used excessive force

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 1:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 3:04 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — An international rights group looking into the shooting deaths of 22 Palestinian civilians by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank says troops used unnecessary force.

Amnesty International says it found evidence of willful killings that could amount to war crimes.

The report released Thursday investigated the deaths of the Palestinians last year, including four children. The group says at least 14 were killed during protests. It says soldiers' lives did not appear to be at risk.

The Israeli military responds that troops try to contain violence initiated by Palestinians, like rock-throwing, and the use of live fire is only permitted in life-threatening situations.

Amnesty says soldiers acted with "near total impunity" and a pattern of unlawful killings has emerged. It says the army's investigations are inadequate.

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