Israeli police are officially permitted to use deadly force against stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers, according to updated regulations made public on Tuesday by an Israel-based human rights organization.
The new open-fire regulations, revealed by Adalah, a rights organization and legal center that defends Palestinians living in Israel as well as the occupied territories, state that “an officer is permitted 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.”
Vetted and authorized by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, the official regulations specify that “stone throwing using a slingshot”—a common tactic among Palestinian youths living under Israeli occupation—is an example of a situation that would justify fatal recourse. Previously, lethal force had been reserved as a final option when confronting such behavior.
Commenting on the newly-revealed regulations, journalist and Electronic Intifada associate editor Rania Khalek wrote online, “Israel essentially authorized extra-judicial execution of Palestinian children for acts not yet committed.”
Just last month, Israeli troops shot dead a 15-year-old Palestinian boy because they “mistakenly” associated him with a group that was throwing stones.
“The new regulations allow officers to act in an unchecked and criminal manner,” said Adalah attorney Mohammad Bassam. “The chances that actions such as stone throwing or shooting of fireworks would present a life-threatening danger are extremely slim and there is no doubt that it is possible to handle such situations using non-lethal means.
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