Former Shin Bet chief: Allowing live-fire against rock-throwers will escalate situation

Yuval Diskin says causing more bloodshed will exacerbate situation.

A Palestinian throws a stone at a Border Police vehicle during a protest near Ramallah (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Palestinian throws a stone at a Border Police vehicle during a protest near Ramallah
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Monday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to change the rules of engagement and allow opening fire on those throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails in an attempt to deal with stone-throwing attacks in and around Jerusalem.
"Eased open-fire restrictions - will this stop the Molotov cocktail and stone-throwing terror?" Diskin asked in a post published on his Facebook page.
"Those who believe that a quicker finger on the trigger through eased live-fire rules will stop the stone-throwing terror - are wrong," Diskin wrote.
Diskin said that measures to stop rock-throwing attacks in the capital discussed by Netanyahu in Sunday's cabinet meeting, such as changing the rules of engagement, fining the parents of minors caught rock-throwing and legislating minimum sentences for rock-throwers, have been discussed "hundreds of times in the past."
"Ongoing stone-throwing, Molotov cocktails, vehicular terror attacks, stabbings and more, usually bear witness to a bad atmosphere on the street, which stems from various and complicated circumstances: economic crisis, reaction to a difficult terror attack or incident (for example the attack against the Dawabshe family in Duma), tensions at the Temple Mount, frustration, and mainly - hopelessness," he posited.
"There is no greater mistake than causing more bloodshed, especially of citizens. The opposite is true. That only serves to worsen and escalate the situation," Diskin argued.
Diskin said that the use of live fire against disturbances at the beginning of the second intifada, in October 2000, had brought negative consequences that have continued to influence the situation up until today. He said that terror groups took advantage of the "revenge atmosphere" created to bring the phenomenon of suicide terror attacks that characterized the second intifada.
During the Arab Spring as well, harsher crackdowns by the regimes involved turned up the flames of the protests and the governments collapsed more quickly, he said.
"I suggest to all of the populist politicians who are selling the public cheap slogans like, 'eased live-fire restrictions' and a 'strong hand', that they reconsider their policy, because it will cost us dearly," he said.
Diskin called on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to prevent the proposed changes to the rules of engagement.