IDF clarifies rules of engagement for live fire against firecracker attacks

Firing firecrackers at soldiers from a distance of 25-30 meters could constitute a life-threatening situation.

November 17, 2014 05:46
1 minute read.

Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian protesters after an anti-Israel demonstration in solidarity with al-Aqsa mosque in Hebron. (photo credit: REUTERS)

An IDF officer on Sunday told The Jerusalem Post that a clarification regarding rules of engagement for using live fire against firecracker attacks was recently issued.

While there was no real change to the rules on the issue, the clarification went into some more detail in stating to soldiers the circumstances in which they can use live fire in confronting firecracker attacks due to feeling their lives were being threatened.

For example, if someone is firing firecrackers directly at soldiers from a close distance of 25-30 meters, that could constitute a life-threatening situation.

Indirect fire or obviously inaccurate fire or firing firecrackers from a farther distance might not constitute a threat to life – though the rules are meant to have some flexibility as each situation has subjective aspects.

The same message was given to the Post last week by a source in IDF Central Command. According to both sources, no brand new directives have been issued.

The Central Command source connected the clarification to Operation Brother’s Keeper in June, when there was an incident of fireworks being fired at soldiers at Tapuah junction in Samaria.

The IDF officer said even before June, the entire past year had seen an increase in use of firecrackers by Palestinians along with “traditional” forms of protest or rioting, such as throwing stones or Molotov cocktails.

Police trying to contain the recent rioting in Jerusalem have also been encountering a larger number of incidents involving firecrackers.

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