Otzma calls to ease IDF rules of engagement: ‘Soldiers’ hands are tied’

“They’re tying the hands of our soldiers. We came to make a change,” the video says.

March 2, 2019 21:45
1 minute read.
Itamar Ben Gvir

A policeman arrests Israeli right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir during a 'Peace Now' demonstration in Jerusalem. (photo credit: GALI TIBBON / AFP)


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A new Otzma Yehudit campaign video capitalizes on major controversies of recent years, calling to ease the IDF’s rules of engagement so soldiers can be allowed to shoot in more situations.

The video depicts a soldier in reserve duty being approached by a man in a keffiyeh with a knife in his hand. The soldier lifts his gun to shoot, and a member of the IDF legal division approaches him to measure the distance between him and the terrorist.

Otzma candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir, eighth on the Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) list, appears and says: “Shoot him, it’s self-defense!”

“They’re tying the hands of our soldiers. We came to make a change,” the video says.

Changes in the IDF rules of engagement have been controversial in recent years, with figures on the far right, including Otzma’s leadership, calling for a change.

Ben-Gvir and other Otzma activists were also heavily involved in the protest movement against putting Hebron shooter Elor Azaria on trial. In 2016, Azaria shot and killed a Palestinian man who had stabbed an Israeli soldier, after the terrorist was already subdued. He was convicted of manslaughter.

In January, the party released an open letter from former MK Michael Ben-Ari, the Otzma candidate who’s fifth on the URP list, saying he is “pained to see how the honor of the IDF and Israel’s deterrence are being trampled again and again.”

One of the examples he gave of dishonor was Azaria being led away in handcuffs.

Otzma’s platform calls for more aggressive treatment of Palestinians.

A tweet from February says: “Eliminate the terrorist now! Demolish his home tonight! Expel the entire family to Syria!”

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