Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has issued a new statement criticizing the Israeli military for its treatment of unarmed protesters in the occupied West Bank, saying that they are violating their own rules of engagement in such situations.
“The Israeli military’s standing orders explicitly state that live ammunition may not be fired at stone-throwers,” the report noted, adding that Israeli troops have been repeatedly doing so, and have shot and killed at least 56 people in stone-throwing incidents despite the rule.
Israel’s “rules of engagement” have often been starkly different from their actual military behavior in the occupied territories. In addition to the West Bank stone throwers, Israeli troops have killed numerous Gazan farmers since the ceasefire despite changing their rules to tell soldiers to not fire unless the Gazan is physically attacking the border fence.
The Israeli military condemned B’Tselem for the report, insisting that many of the killings were “old or still under investigation” and that the report was biased against them.