Israeli police have unveiled new regulations which allow Israeli officers to open fire on Palestinian demonstrators with live ammunition before a non-lethal option is used, a statement released by Israeli rights group Adalah revealed.
According to the statement, the new police regulations allow officers “to open fire [with live ammunition] directly on an individual who clearly appears to be throwing or is about to throw a firebomb, or who is shooting or is about to shoot fireworks, in order to prevent endangerment”.
Stone throwing using a slingshot, which is common among protesting Palestinians was cited as an act that could justify a police officer using live ammunition on demonstrators
The new regulations, which were revealed to Adalah in June following a petition submitted to Israeli courts to make the regulations public, were reported to be a split from “existing general guidelines” which restricted the use of deadly weapons by officers until other non-lethal measures were taken and only when danger to the officer could not be avoided, the statement said.
Adalah attorney, Mohammad Bassam, who had prepared the petition, slammed the new regulations, stating that they would allow Israeli police to act in an “unchecked and criminal manner,” adding that the chances of an Israeli officer’s life being threatened by stone throwing or firebombs were “extremely slim”.
“The new regulations relate to such actions as if they were acts of war and grant legitimacy to light-trigger fingers [among officers], thus posing a fatal danger to the lives of young Palestinians,” he said.