Israeli Military Amends Open-Fire, Rock-Throwers are Now Target

Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

The Israeli army has amended its open-fire rules, allowing troops to shoot Palestinian protesters who throw rocks at Israeli settlers’ cars in the occupied West Bank, even if they no longer pose an imminent threat, Israeli media reported.

The policy was reportedly introduced around a month ago, but the Israeli army has refrained from making a public announcement at the time. 

An Israeli military spokesman only confirmed the changes to the Times of Israel newspaper on Monday, after reports about the open-fire rules emerged in the media.

Under the new rules, Israeli occupation forces are allowed to go through the entire arrest protocol if they see Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at vehicles, including the use of deadly force against Palestinian ‘suspects’, even if they don’t have any objects in their hands, RT reported, citing Israeli media. 

Previously, Israeli occupation soldiers were, in theory, only allowed to fire when arresting Palestinians while supposedly still in the act of throwing stones or firebombs. In practice, however, Palestinian youngsters were often shot under various guises, and little investigation was made of Palestinian casualties killed or wounded by the Israeli army.

According to the Israeli military spokesman, the amendments were needed because the initial rules in many cases allowed alleged Palestinian attackers to avoid responsibility for their actions, RT also reported.

The changes introduced by the Israeli army have already been questioned by legal experts. A former chief military prosecutor, Liron Libman, told the Times of Israel that “a person who is fleeing doesn’t present a threat” and that deadly force should only “be a last resort measure.” 

Eliav Lieblich, a law professor at Tel Aviv University, argues the new rules contradict the international laws of armed conflict since there is no active conflict in the West Bank, as well as human rights laws due to not matching the needs of self-defense.

(The Palestine Chronicle, RT, Social Media)

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