The IDF tightened its rules of engagement yesterday for combat forces in Judea and Samaria, making defense of self and others much more difficult.
Publication of the new regulations was met with utter disgust by the troops who will be forced to carry them out.
The new rules are frankly dangerous to the soldiers, creating an unacceptable risk to their lives before they’re allowed to fire at attackers.
Christian combat soldiers who spoke with the Hebrew-language 0404 website made it clear they “will not hesitate to operate in accordance with the gunfire procedures that were in place prior to the announcement.”
The stringent new rules of engagement have tightened the regulation that previously required troops to fire at an attacker’s lower extremities in life-threatening situations. Under other circumstances in which there is a risk, a threatened soldier has only been allowed to fire in the air.
IDF soldiers who belong to the Christian community told the 0404 website that if they are confronted with a situation in which they feel threatened, they will not hesitate to shoot directly at a terrorist, even if the situation differs from permitted circumstances outlined in the new regulations.
One of the three soldiers from northern Israel who spoke with the website said, “Whoever throws a firebomb (Molotov cocktail) at me is clearly trying to kill me, and someone who wants to kill me is someone I will kill first.”
Another soldier said that his family had contacted him to ask whether news of the more stringent rules was really true. When he confirmed it, “My mother told me she does not care about the new directives and said that if I am in danger, I should not think twice [about firing to defend myself.]”
A third soldier from Nazareth sent a message to 0404, commenting, “The ‘Rules of Engagement’ sent shivers down my spine. A strong army stands in fear before a small enemy. No, no, absolutely not. I have one thing to say: One hundred mothers will weep and my mother will not cry. I am a Christian of Nazareth serving in the Kefir Brigade and I represent the Christian community.”
Hana Levi Julian