Tony Greenstein | 22 February 2013 | Post Views:

Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon in the High Court in 2012. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

It takes a lot for the head of the IOF’s Central Command, Gen. Nitzan Alon, to tell his commanders not to fire on sight at civilians.  In four separate incidents over a 2 week period, young unarmed Palestinians were killed.  In the West Bank there has been no armed resistance to the Israeli occupation, thanks to the quisling regime which operates, as a subcontractor in Ramallah, under Abbas and his American trained henchmen.

But even if Israel lacks any ‘terrorism’ threat to justify its use of force it can always rely on the BBC and the ‘free press’ to only report attacks on Israel.  If 4 Jewish children had been killed in the West Bank in two weeks, the BBC would have moved special reporters into the West Bank.  They would have analysed the situation and no doubt come up with the usual punditry.  But dead Palestinians are not news.   That is how the racist framework of the BBC and mass media operates.

Tony Greenstein

Senior IDF officer tells West Bank commanders to show restraint in dealing with Palestinians

Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon’s instruction follows four incidents in the West Bank in the past two weeks in which soldiers opened fire and killed unarmed Palestinians.

By Amos Harel | Feb.01, 2013 | 7:22 AM |  2
The head of the Israel Defense Force’s Central Command, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has instructed commanders of units stationed in the West Bank to act with restraint and moderation when dealing with the civilian population.

Palestinian women mourn during the funeral of Lubna Hanash in the West
Bank town of Bethlehem January 23, 2013. Photo by Reuters

 In a letter sent to the commanders earlier this week, Alon told them to instruct their soldiers to strictly adhere to the IDF’s rules of engagement.

 The instruction followed four incidents in the West Bank in the past two weeks in which soldiers opened fire and killed unarmed Palestinians.

The IDF’s operational investigations of the incidents are being completed and the results will soon be presented to Alon. Meanwhile, four separate Military Police investigations have been opened into the incidents.

Orders violated

In three of the cases – a youth killed in the village of Budrus near Ramallah, a young woman shot in Al Aroub near Bethlehem and a young man shot next to the separation fence south of Hebron – serious violations of the IDF’s standing orders on when to open fire have been found. In the fourth case, in which an officer opened fire and killed a Palestinian youth during a demonstration in Bethlehem, the investigation found mistakes but no violation of regulations.

As a result of the incident near Hebron, a company commander from the Home Front Command was suspended. He commanded the forces that unnecessarily opened fire on the Palestinian, who was attempting to cross the fence through an opening in order to work in Israel.

The mother of Palestinian youth Sameer Awad mourns during his funeral in
the West Bank village of Budrus near Ramallah January 15, 2013. Photo
by Reuters

Alon wrote that taking human life without justification damages the legitimacy of the IDF’s actions in the territories, in the eyes of both Israeli society and the international community. The Central Command must carry out its responsibilities using force wisely and proportionally, Alon wrote: Because the forces operate in a dense civilian environment, they must use force in a restrained fashion, and that applies especially to live fire.

Alon warned that the death of uninvolved civilians could encourage violent demonstrations by the Palestinians.

The units stationed in the West Bank need to improve their knowledge of the IDF’s rules of engagement, upgrade their marksmanship training and the individual training of soldiers by their commanders, and improve the commanders’ control of events in the field, Alon wrote.

While the Central Command is prepared for the possibility of an escalation in the territories, all forces must now implement a policy of restraint in cases of friction with unarmed civilians, Alon wrote.

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Tony Greenstein

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