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(photo credit: AP [file])
IDF soldiers who feel threatened by Lebanese demonstrators along the northern border will be allowed to open fire in self-defense, a high-ranking officer revealed Wednesday night. According to the officer, the IDF Operations Directorate formulated new orders for forces stationed along the border.
"There are new procedures for opening fire, and if there are demonstrations that endanger soldiers, they can shoot at the feet of the main inciter," the officer said. "If there are circumstances that endanger soldiers, then they can open fire to remove the risk."
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The use of live fire, the officer said, was a last resort and if there were gatherings along the border with Lebanon, the soldiers would first be required to utilize the coordination office with UNIFIL opened at Northern Command headquarters in Safed.
"First we call UNIFIL and they notify the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)," he said. "The use of fire is a last resort."
The officer said that the IDF did not expect UNIFIL to open fire at Hizbullah operatives even if they were on their way to perpetrate attacks against Israel. "We see them as a motivator for LAF," the officer said. "But we don't expect them to storm and engage Hizbullah."
The IDF, the officer said, would continue flying over Lebanon until the kidnapped soldiers - Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser - were returned to Israel and the military felt that Syria was not smuggling weapons into Lebanon for Hizbullah.
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