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Israel expands use of snipers in Negev Open in fullscreen

Nidal Mohammad Watad

Israel expands use of snipers in Negev

Israeli troops have been escalating their violations of the al-Aqsa mosque [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 21 September, 2015

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Israel plans to expand the use of snipers against protesters throwing stones at Israeli vehicles in Palestinian Bedouin areas, Haaretz said on Monday.

Earlier statements by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu allowing a modification of the rules of engagement inside Israel, not only in occupied Jerusalem, also included the use of sniper fire against "stone-throwers" protesting in Negev, Israeli daily Haaretz revealed on Monday.

Haaretz added that Israeli police plans to deploy dozens of snipers using the Ruger .22-caliber rifle to confront Palestinian Bedouins throwing stones at Israeli vehicles in Negev, and particularly in Palestinian Bedouin villages which Israel refuses to recognise or even provide with basic services, such as water and electricity.

"Legal and police sources" told Haaretz that the decisions on how to deal with stone-throwers and all forms of resistance in occupied Jerusalem would also be applied in Negev, particularly on those who throw stones at vehicles.

According to the Israeli daily, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has not changed the police's rules of engagement against demonstrators, unlike Netanyahu's claims. Instead, Weinstein approved the use of Ruger rifles by the police.

Israel claims that Ruger .22-caliber rifles are not lethal, even though in 2001, Military Advocate General Menachem Finkelstein stated otherwise.

Israeli police used Ruger rifles in Jerusalem in 2000, killing 13 young Palestinian protesters who were demonstrating against the storming of al-Aqsa mosque by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Israeli troops have been escalating their aggression in Palestinian neighbourhoods around the old town of Jerusalem and the holy site, amidst ongoing tensions and rage in response to the continuous violations of the al-Aqsa mosque.

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