Why The IDF Stands By As Palestinians Are Attacked

Andrew Sullivan —  May 27 2012 @ 9:15pm

A former member of the border police in Hebron explains what an ethnocracy means:

After the Shamgar Committee investigation [into the massacre of Palestinians by the Zionist extremist Baruch Goldstein in 1994], the rules of engagement changed. The command to wait for a weapons jam was replaced with the direction to “instruct the shooter or person endangering life through other means to cease his actions, or to try to overpower him immediately, while using reasonable force.” In the case that the shooter is not deterred by the soldiers’ requests to cease fire, they are required, according to the IDF instructions, to carry out something similar to the “procedure for detaining a suspect”: shots in the air, shots towards the legs, and only then, shots to neutralize the danger.

This is how it is on paper. In reality, the soldier on the ground receives oral commands that preserve the order to do nothing in instances of Israeli fire towards Palestinians, and in instances of less severe violence, “to serve as a buffer.”

Soldiers on the ground are well-trained to take action when a Palestinian attacks, but not when he is the victim of settler violence. Most of the testimonies given to Breaking the Silence don’t relate to the commands given in the instance of an Israeli shooting at a Palestinian because the perception is that the IDF is in the Occupied Territories in order to protect the settlers, and this is the basis for all routine IDF activity. You don’t shoot at the ones you were sent to protect.