Israel Defense Forces GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa on Tuesday issued a temporary directive revising the rules of engagement across Judea and Samaria, seeking to limit the number of incidents in which live fire is used against Palestinian rioters.
The directive was issued as part of the IDF’s efforts to defuse the growing tensions on the ground following the July 31 torching of homes in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, which claimed the life of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha and his father, Saad, 31, and left his mother and 4-year-old brother in serious condition.
According to Israel’s Channel 10, the new orders bar soldiers from opening fire at Palestinian rioters hurling firebombs or stones at them, unless the troops believe they are in imminent danger. The orders specify that if a rioter who threw a stone or a firebomb is not endangering soldiers’ lives and moves away from them, the troops must not shoot toward him, but must instead try to apprehend him using other measures.
Before the new directive, the instructions were for soldiers to try to stop rioters who had hurled firebombs or stones using all reasonable measures, working under the assumption that those who threw such items once would do so again. Consequently, soldiers would pursue Palestinian rioters and begin arrest procedures, which include firing in midair and if necessary at the suspects’ legs.