A report by the New York-based watchdog cited UN data which also said more than 60 civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire near the perimeter fence of the Palestinian enclave led by the Islamist Hamas, AFP reported.
It focused on seven incidents between Jan 2 and March 1, in which the four were killed and five others wounded, “none of whom posed a threat to the soldiers or others.”
HRW noted that “Palestinians living in the densely inhabited Gaza Strip use land near the fence with Israel for agriculture, collecting rubble, scrap metal, and other reusable materials, and recreation.”
“Month after month, Israeli forces have wounded and killed unarmed Palestinians who did nothing but cross an invisible, shifting line that Israel has drawn inside Gaza’s perimeter,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director.
HRW maintained in its report, “While firing warning shots may reduce the likelihood of shooting a civilian, a failure to heed warning shots does not turn a civilian into a lawful military target.”