Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern at the high level of civilian casualties in the clashes that began on Friday and continued in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and northern Israel. "Security forces are required to adhere to strict rules of engagement governing the use of force," said Hanny Megally, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division.

Security forces are required to adhere to strict rules of engagement governing the use of force," said Hanny Megally, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division. "Lethal force should be used only where there is an imminent threat to life, and should be proportional to the danger faced."

According to press reports and local human rights organizations, at least fifty Palestinians and three Israelis have died in the clashes. Hundreds have been injured, many critically.

"We are deeply disturbed by the numbers of apparently unarmed civilians, including children and medical rescue workers, among those killed and badly injured," Megally said.

Human Rights Watch has sent investigators to examine the conduct of Israeli and Palestinian security forces in coping with the unrest of the past week.