Israel Orders Soldiers not to Use Force against Palestinians Protests
Israel's military has recently instructed soldiers to refrain from using live ammunition, tear gas or rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian protesters unless such means are necessary to keep the demonstrators from harming Jewish settlements, reported Haaretz newspaper, quoting a military official.
"There is growing concern in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that the Palestinians might organize mass rallies to flood army outposts or settlements, after Hizbollah's success using similar methods during the IDF's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May," said the official.
Senior Palestinian officials have also publicly stated their intention to employ such tactics in the event of clashes with Israel in the territories, said the paper.
"The IDF is preparing to confront mass civilian demonstrations, and the issue has been raised for discussion by the General Staff. The IDF has developed a fighting doctrine delineating that if the demonstration is mainly composed of unarmed women and children, the responding Israeli force must also be unarmed." According to the official, "the IDF is concerned about the possibility that soldiers might panic and open fire on Palestinian civilians around them."
The paper quoted military sources as saying that "the IDF is also concerned about the resulting media coverage."
To avoid such a response, the daily added, the army plans to respond to civilian protests with military and nonmilitary forces trained in handling
Instead of deploying infantry soldiers, police officers will be dispatched to the site, along with military policewomen and female soldiers. When possible, the plan is for the police to create a human chain to block off the demonstrators, Haaretz added.
Still, snipers will be deployed nearby to respond in case of fire on the soldiers and police officers, according to the daily - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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