Israel is considering giving its security forces a freer hand to shoot at young Palestinian stone-throwers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Wednesday.
Under standing orders, Israeli soldiers facing violent Palestinian protests can open fire with live bullets only in life-threatening situations. That effectively bans firing at Palestinians who flee after hurling a rock or petrol bomb.
But after meeting with several cabinet ministers and security chiefs to discuss an increase in stone-throwing in Jerusalem and on a highway in the occupied West Bank, Netanyahu suggested the rules could be hardened.
“Since the justice system finds it difficult to deal with minors who throw rocks, changes to orders on opening fire towards stone- and petrol bomb-throwers will be examined,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
Netanyahu was quoted as saying at the session that his government’s policy was one of “zero tolerance towards stone-throwing and zero tolerance towards terror.”
Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, criticized the potential new policy.
“This rightist Israeli fanatic government is pursuing its criminal policy to kill Palestinians. The new regulations would mean more escalation, killings and crimes against our people” he told Reuters.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been frozen since 2014 and while violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has not approached the levels of past Palestinian uprisings, there has been a surge of Palestinian stone-throwing, long a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation.
While tougher action against Palestinian stone-throwers would likely draw international concern, Netanyahu’s government and the military have been facing calls from Israeli settler leaders in the West Bank for a security crackdown.
Those demands mounted after a video last week that showed a masked Israeli soldier being hit and bitten by relatives of a Palestinian boy - a suspected rock-thrower whom he had placed in a headlock. On Israeli social media, many asked why the infantryman had not fought back or even used his assault rifle.
In July, Israel’s parliament imposed tougher penalties of up to 20 years in prison for people throwing rocks at vehicles, after a wave of Palestinian protests in occupied East Jerusalem.
But no such punishments have been reported since the new legislation was approved, and the measure does not apply to the occupied West Bank, where Israeli military law is in effect and stone-throwing.
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem lists 12 Palestinian minors who were shot and killed by Israeli forces during protests and clashes in the West Bank in 2014. In at least four of those incidents, Israel said the youngsters had been throwing rocks or petrol bombs, according to B’Tselem.
Since 2011, three Israelis, including a baby and a girl, have been killed in the West Bank after rocks were thrown at vehicles they were traveling in.
Read more: http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/320288/benjamin-netanyahu-threatens-shoot-to-kill-crackdown-on-stone-throwers/#ixzz3kh991R28
WASHINGTON (AP) — Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday became the 31st senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum builds behind the agreement the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Tehran.
Merkley’s backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
I am honored to speak on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, which stands in solidarity with the people of Iran, the people of the U.S., and people of conscience across our precious planet who yearn for our leaders to courageously move us towards peaceful relations with Iran and away from setting us on a path that, once on it, one simple miscalculation, might lead us inexorably toward war with Iran.
If you thought the Iraq war was a tragic disaster, get this:
Iran is a regional power with a strong military. It is three times as populous and geographically much larger than Iraq. So, multiply everything in the Iraq War by three to get a sense of the cost of a war against Iran:
Immediate cost: $3 trillion
Long term cost, including veteran care: at least 10 trillion dollars
US troops killed: over 15,000
US troops seriously wounded: over 100,000
Iranian dead: 3 million
Iranians displaced: 12-15 million!
Let’s be clear: the U.S. has long had Iran virtually encircled as a result of the American occupation of Afghanistan on Iran’s Eastern border, its invasion of Iraq on its Western border, its NATO ally Turkey hovering on Iran’s Northwestern border, some degree of military relationship with Turkmenistan on Iran’s Northeastern border, and multiple U.S. client states sitting right across the Persian Gulf (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, where the massive US 5th Fleet is stationed). Additionally, some combination of the U.S. and Israel has bombarded Iran with multiple acts of war in recent years, including explosions on Iranian soil, the murder of numerous Iranian nuclear scientists, and sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Over 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students, and organizations have launched a statement expressing their solidarity and commitment to ensuring justice for Palestinians. Signatories to the statement span a wide cross-section of Black activists and scholars, including Angela Davis, Boots Riley, Cornel West, dream hampton, Emory Douglas, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa, Patrisse Cullors, Phil Hutchings, Ramona Africa, Robin DG Kelley, Rosa Clemente, Talib Kweli, and Tef Poe. 38 organizations signed on, including The Dream Defenders, Hands Up United, Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and Organization for Black Struggle.
Israel's Military Intelligence monitoring dozens of BDS groups around the world
While the IDF is responsible for foreign groups, local groups supporting BDS are monitored by the Shin Bet.
The Israel Defense Forces routinely gathers information on foreign, left-wing organizations that it believes are working to delegitimize the State of Israel, Haaretz has learned.
Read more on Haaretz