Israeli military chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot has drawn the ire of President Benjamin Netanyahu just for being reasonable about use of force against underage suspects.
Although violence is a part of life for both Israelis and Palestinians — especially in East Jerusalem and the West Bank — tensions have escalated in the embattled region over the past couple of months after Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last September.
Since October, a series of stabbings by Palestinians has killed 28 Israelis. During the same time, Israeli forces have killed 180 Palestinians, most of whom, according to Israeli sources, were alleged assailants. Several of those killed were minors.
Eisenkot recently pointed out how reckless shooting deaths of underage suspects make no sense.
"When there's a 13-year-old girl holding scissors or a knife and there is some distance between her and the soldiers, I don't want to see a soldier open fire and empty his magazine at a girl like that, even if she is committing a very serious act," he said, according to AFP. "Rather he should use the force necessary to fulfill the objective."
Netanyahu, being the unreasonable politician he is, deemed Eisenkot’s comments inappropriate. But the general makes perfect sense.
Israeli soldiers are a part of one of the world’s most powerful militaries. Surely, their soldiers’ basic military training must include defensive moves that could be useful to tackle 13-year-olds wielding knives.
If not, here’s an example that can help. In December, a man attacked and injured three people in a London subway. When he tried to approach several police officers, here’s how they restrained him: (Warning: Graphic Content)
If cops can easily subdue a grown man without using bullets, then burly Israeli soldiers can surely do the same with small Palestinian minors.