IDF to ease rules of engagement in south

Protocol to detail new opening fire rules along Egyptian border.

kids cross rafah298 88ap (photo credit: AP [file])
kids cross rafah298 88ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel is going to change its protocol for opening fire along the Egyptian border, which has been a peaceful border for the past 25 years. The new protocol will make it easier to open fire on infiltrators on the so-called "peace border," since "dangerous criminal elements" were involved in the smuggling of terrorists and weapons across the border, senior military sources said on Tuesday. A senior IDF official said that the army plans on beefing up its presence on the 240-kilometer border between the Mediterranean and Red Sea, and will probably add a new brigade headquarters along parts of it. In addition, the defense establishments also decided to both divert part of the Gaza division to patrolling the border with Egypt and to erect a sophisticated electronic fence on the Eilat-Taba border. Meanwhile, a firefight and violent protest broke out between IDF forces and Palestinians in Nablus around 10 a.m. while soldiers were patrolling the city. While surveying the city, troops came under fire from a number of directions. Simultaneously, protesters began throwing stones at the forces. The forces responded with live fire in the direction of the terrorists and fired rubber bullets at the protesters. According to Palestinian sources, a 20-year-old Palestinian man was killed by IDF fire during the skirmish. Army sources said that a few Palestinian protesters in the area were wounded from Palestinian gunfire during the battle. No soldiers were wounded during the skirmish.