Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein

( Government legal experts opposed the demand to ease the rules of engagement with live ammunition when there is a risk to civilian lives. Speaking at a special session convened on Sunday by the Prime Minister in response to the rise in violent incidents in the capital, the same experts did authorize the use of non-lethal weapons. They said an examination of the plan to ease the rules will continue.

Netanyahu’s office said that during the hearing the prime minister instructed his legal experts to re-examine the rules of engagement in order to “adapt them to the reality on the ground, so that the police can prevent and deter terrorism.”


Netanyahu told his cabinet meeting on Sunday about the policy changes he wished to enforce following the deterioration in the security situation in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. “The police have already used new measures under the new directives this weekend, and struck the stone throwers and Molotov cocktail throwers,” Netanyahu reported. “Today we will allow further expansion of the ability of police forces to act and will add forces to damage the rioters,” he said.

But there have been tensions between the political and legal participants in the debate about the rules of engagement, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again demanding that the legal team at the office of the Attorney General re-examine the rules in light of the escalation of Arab violence in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. According to NRG, the legal team told the Prime Minister that he cannot change the rules of engagement with live ammunition, which is why the AG’s office had approved police use of the Ruger .22 sniper rifle, a non-lethal weapon used by the military to disperse rioters. However, the Prime Minister’s repeated demand, the Attorney General stated that the examination of the proposed changes will continue.

According to preliminary reports, the police was supposed to present at the discussion a draft proposal, finalized with the Attorney General, on the changes in the permission to open fire on rioters, namely that police would be able to use live fire in cases of risk to civilians inside Israel. However, as the debate had begun, representatives from the Attorney General’s and the State Attorney’s offices stated their opposition to the draft.

Later on Sunday, Israel Radio reported that the Prime Minister said in a private conversations that he was determined to confirm his new anti-terrorism measures put forward earlier. Netanyahu reportedly said his government is the sovereign and it can decide. Netanyahu once again instructed his professional staff to examine changes in the rules of engagement for rioters who throw stones and Molotov cocktails, setting minimum sentences for said violations, and denying the parents of rioting minors their government entitlements, such as social security benefits.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein told Israel radio he objected to minimum sentences, but said he was inclined to agree if the penalties remain part of a temporary order and be applied only to adults, and not to children. Weinstein also opposed a change in the rules of engagement for police but agreed to clarify the rules again, in case of a misunderstanding.

According to the Prime Minister, “there is a new situation and we should match the punishment and the rules of engagement to the new reality. We can’t allow that in Jerusalem, our capital, or in any part of the State of Israel, the Galilee or the Negev, people would organize popular terror and start throwing bottles at passing cars, or stones that kill people. This will not become the norm here, the opposite norm will be enforced — we will stop you in mid-action, and punish you to the full extent of the law,” Netanyahu said.



  1. Only in Israel does the Attorney-General and Supreme Court have such gross interferring power to decide what the IDF response to terror will be. Where Rules of Engagement include a military lawyer watching IAF cockpit operations in real time and can call off a strike literally at the last second for this or that insane reason. Where the enemy is warned in advance of a strike so that supposed "innocent" civilians get out of the way. Where the IAF invariably responds to rocket attacks just for show by striking empty warehouses or launching sites that have been abandoned. It is no wonder that Israel ends every conflict prematurely or inconclusively.
    The entire Israeli electoral system needs to be revamped as the current system of voting for a party which most closely resembles your point of view, but not knowing the political viewpoint of most of those on that list is just insane. Then as always a rag tag coalition is formed representing on the whole, who knows what? The power of the Court and Attorney-General needs to be diminished and citizens need a system of voting for candidates of their choice and if that individual does not perform as expected he can be thrown out at the next election. Currently this is simply not possible.

  2. The inent of rioters in Israel is to kill Jews. The IDF and Police should be able to defend themselves with extreme prejudice.. kill them where they stand, as they intend to kill. What incentive do they have to stop rioting if their only punishment is to be arrested and thrown in jail/prison where they are fed and housed, their families received American money from the US government (a more abundant sum if they have managed to kill a Jew) and they know they will be released when the next "peace talks" are forced upon Israel by the US? Change the game for Hamas and Abbas. Kill the terrorists where they stand.

  3. As with the child soldiers in Africa and other combat zones the real question is who is responsible for their actions. Children have an instinctive desire to please and be appreciated by their families, mentors and elders which only can be moderated by experience gained from maturity. They certainly represent a mortal danger to life and limb and as such perpetrators should be captured and detained. However, detention should be one of rehabilitation and encouragement to be achievers for their own and society's benefit. Israel has excellent tools to achieve this and would be perroming a Torah Mitzvah, saving human lives, in so dong. On the other hand and for the same reason, non-lethal armament such as (if they qualify as such) .22 sniper rifles should be authorised to immobilize juvenile terrorism but not to kill.

    As for the armchair "generals" who advocate dictatorial powers they need a lesson in civics and the essentiality of checks and balances.

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