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Will the Israeli army ever stop killing Palestinians?

7 20 18

With an increasing number of Palestinians being killed by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, warned soldiers recently against misjudgements when they use lethal force during clashes with Palestinians or when raiding their homes, farms and villages. Kochavi issued the warning during a meeting with the commanders of the IDF Central Command and, according to Haaretz, he directly and clearly ordered soldiers to reduce the number of Palestinians being killed during operations.

To achieve this, he told more senior officers to be involved in lower-level operations to ensure that his order is carried out and that fatal consequences only result from decisions taken by senior ranks. He also stressed that the officers who do not follow the rules will be punished.

The context of this is that, over the past three months, Israeli occupation soldiers have killed more than 40 Palestinians. In some cases, illegal settlers took guns from soldiers and opened fire at the Palestinians. In other cases, the settlers attacked the Palestinians before seeking the protection of the soldiers, who then also attacked the Palestinians.

"We will back you up when you act according to orders, but we will not accept exceptions," Kochavi said. "We will back you up when you use your judgement, even if there are mistakes, but we will not accept recklessness."

This all looks very positive, but who decides what the orders are? Are they written clearly and in keeping with human rights and moral standards? If there are such orders and operational rules, as the Israeli army claims, what are the criteria for deciding whether or not a Palestinian deserves to be........

© Middle East Monitor

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