In a press release issued on Monday by Adalah, it has been revealed that since December, Israeli police have been instructed to respond lethally to Palestinians throwing stones, firebombs, or shooting fireworks.
Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, petitioned in court to gain access to the government’s open-fire regulation documents, which were previously under wraps.
Prior to December, lethal force had been a last resort for police, Al Jazeera reports. But now, officials have allowed officers to retaliate lethally in the first instance of witnessing such acts.
The NGO released portions of the report which stated,
“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.”
Adalah’s attorney, Mohammad Bassam, who wrote the petition for the NGO, condemned this new revelation, saying that police brutality against Palestinians will be further out of control. He said, “The new regulations allow officers to act in an unchecked and criminal manner.”
Bassam's comments do not fall on deaf ears, as the court’s open-fire regulation allows officers to kill even Palestinian children who seem like they are about to throw stones or fireworks.
Since last October, an estimated 214 Palestinians and 34 Israelis have been killed in the ongoing civil turmoil.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters