The Israeli army admits that it secretly changed its policy once it realized that shooting unarmed protesters in the leg was lethal. Rights group says the revelation is an admission that Israel was killing protesters without any justification.
The Israeli military reportedly changed open-fire regulations for its snipers deployed along the Israel-Gaza fence after it became clear that they were unnecessarily killing unarmed Palestinian protesters, something human rights groups and others had been warning all along.
Israeli snipers and sharpshooters killed 206 Palestinian demonstrators and wounded thousands of others — including children, medics, and journalists — during the Great March of Return in Gaza. The ongoing weekly protests, which began in March of 2018, called for an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Israeli journalist Carmela Menashe, the military reporter for Israel’s public radio station, tweeted earlier this week that the IDF made the change when it understood that “firing at the lower half of the body above the knee led to death in many cases, despite this not being the objective.” According to Menashe, the soldiers were instructed to “shoot below the knee, and later, at their ankles.”
A senior officer in the IDF’s counterterrorism school told Israeli news site Ynet that the snipers’ objective was “not to kill but to wound, so one of the lessons [learned] was what they were shooting at… At first we told them to shoot at the leg, we saw that this could kill, so we told them to shoot under the knee. Later we made the order more precise to shoot at the ankle.”Read More