Israel eases restriction shooting Palestinian stone-throwers

Israeli prime minister threatens to loosen security forces restrictions on firing at young Palestinian stone-throwers

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Wednesday it is considering to give its security forces permission to shoot at young Palestinian stone-throwers.

In terms of current standing orders, Israeli soldiers are only allowed to shoot Palestinian protesters using live bullets in life-threatening circumstances.

"Since the justice system finds it difficult to deal with minors who throw rocks, changes to orders on opening fire towards stone and petrol bomb-throwers will be examined," the prime minister's office said in a statement released after a meeting with several cabinet ministers and security chiefs to discuss stone-throwing in Jerusalem and on a highway in the occupied West Bank.

At the session, Netanyahu suggested the rules could be hardened, saying that Israeli policy was one of "zero tolerance towards stone-throwing.”

A member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, Wasel Abu Youssef, criticised the new Israeli policy.

"This rightist Israeli fanatic government is pursuing its criminal policy to kill Palestinians. The new regulations would mean more escalation, killings and crimes against our people" he told Reuters.

Since 2014, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been frozen. Meanwhile, many instances of Palestinian stone-throwing has occurred in Jerusalem and West Bank, which symbolises Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.

According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem list, 12 Palestinian youths were shot and killed during protests and clashes in the West Bank in 2014 by Israeli forces.

TRTWorld and agencies