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Israeli ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy encouraged by senior officials – HRW

Sunday, January 8, 2017 0:10
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586ab6d4c46188ff778b4579Israeli soldiers provide security during a protest against the killing of two settlers by Palestinians in two separate attacks, near the Jewish settlement of Otniel in the West Bank, July 10, 2016. © Baz Ratner / Reuters
Human Rights Watch has accused some senior Israeli officials of openly supporting the excessive use of lethal force against Palestinians, and has condemned Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy.

A new HRW report suggests senior Israeli officials have encouraged the Israeli Defense Force and police to “shoot to kill”Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis, “even when they are no longer a threat.”

Using statements made since October 2015, including those of the defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, HRW found Israeli officials have encouraged lethal force against Palestinians and also failed to condemn such calls from others.

Since October 2015, Israeli forces have shot and killed more than 150 Palestinian teenagers and adults suspected of attempted acts of violence against Israelis in Israel and the West Bank. Palestinians have killed 33 Israelis during the same time period.

Avigdor Lieberman, now Israel’s defense minister, said in October 2015 that Israel should have a policy that “no attacker, male or female, should make it out of any attack alive.”

Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home Party told the Knesset in February 2016, “An attacker who sets out to kill a Jew because he’s a Jew, whatever his age, does not make it out alive. Period.”

In October 2015, Israeli Police Minister Gilad Erdan was asked if he agreed with a politician’s statement that “if a terrorist has a knife or screwdriver in his hand, you should shoot to kill him without thinking twice.”

“Definitely. The question of course depends on the circumstances. There are clear instructions to the Israeli police,” Erdan told a radio host. “As soon as a police officer feels danger to himself or any other citizen, he needs to shoot according to the regulations. It’s clear. We don’t want to endanger any citizen or police officer. And also, every attacker who sets out to inflict harm should know that he will likely not survive the attack,” Erdan said.


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