Rescind Directives to Settlers Regarding Use of Live Fire in September

ACRI calls on military to rescind directives to settlers regarding the use of live fire in September.
Following a report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, that the IDF is training settlers in the West Bank ahead of the protests expected to take place in September by Palestinians, ACRI Attorney Raghad Jaraisy sent a letter today (31 August 2011) to Military Advocate General, Lt. General Avichai Mandelblit, addressing what appear to be illegal directives.
As reported in Haaretz: “The IDF has conducted detailed work to determine a ‘red line’ for each settlement in the West Bank, which will determine when soldiers will be ordered to shoot at the feet of Palestinian protesters if the line is crossed.”
According to the directives, as reported in Haaretz, the settlers who function as security coordinators are permitted to open live fire on unarmed Palestinian protesters when they have crossed a specific geographic ‘red line,’ irrespective of whether they present a real and present danger or whether all other options have been exhausted.
Shooting at unarmed protesters is strictly forbidden, and thus if these directives are in place, they must be called off. As ACRI wrote to Defense Minister Ehud Barak earlier this month: “The security forces’ point of departure should be to allow civil protest in the occupied territories as well, while giving as much space as possible to the freedom of expression. Should the protests exceed the limits of a protected protest act, the security forces may indeed take steps to disperse demonstrations by force, but that too should exclusively follow the law-enforcement rules — which is to distinguish between them and the regulations pertaining to the use of force as part of an armed conflict. Civil protest is neither a war nor an armed conflict, and the individuals partaking in it must not be considered combatants or civilians who take part in hostilities.”
To read the complete letter sent by ACRI to Defense Minister Barak earlier in August, click here (PDF document).

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, Freedom of Expression, Impact of Settlements, The Occupied Territories, Use of Force

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