Op-Ed: Protect the Palestinian Arabs
Prof. Steven PlautSteven Plaut teaches at the University of Haifa and is author of "The Scout" (available from Gefen Publishing House). More of his writings can be seen on the New Plaut Blog, as well as in numerous electronic and print newspapers.
For once, I agree with far-left Haaretz newspaper. The time has come to protect innocent Palestinian Arab bystanders who fall victim to the way Israel's military
uses live ammunition. The time has come to change the instructions to Israeli soldiers about opening fire.
The trigger for this demand is last week's tragic death of an Arab woman student who was accidently killed when Israeli soldiers fired into the air to scare off terrorists who were attacking them. The woman was Lubna Monir Chanash.
Two Israeli army officers were driving a car with civilian plates in the "West Bank" when they were attacked by a group of Palestinian would-be terrorist hooligans, who tossed Molotov cocktails and rocks at them and at their vehicle. The officers got out and chased them. They followed the strict military instructions for opening fire under such circumstances and they fired into the air and not at their attackers.
The problem is that one of the bullets fired into the air came down and accidently struck Chanash while she was waiting for a bus home from the college where she studies. She died from the wound.
Haaretz, which sometimes seems like a Palestinian Arab newspaper printed in Hebrew, was aghast. It considered the problem the "light trigger finger" behavior of Israeli
In fact, the opposite is true. Chanash was killed because Israeli soldiers are ordered NOT to shoot terrorists. Firing into the air to scare off terrorists is allowed, but it is a reckless, clear and dangerous policy, as Chamash's death proves.
Israeli soldiers must be ordered to fire directly - not necessarily to kill - at terrorists throwing rocks, molotov cocktails, or anything else at Jews! The alternative is depraved indifference towards the lives of innocent Palestinian Arabs.
Similarly, Haaretz is also aghast at the death of a 15 year old boy who was shot in the leg while shooting large rocks from a slingshot at a military guard-post. When the soldier there felt he was in danger - rocks can kill, especially when catapulted from a slingshot- he followed orders and shot the rock-slinger in the leg. The urchin was unlucky and unfortunately died of the wound.
Let us note that there is no other army on earth where soldiers aim for the legs of people attacking them. They shoot them in the head! Israel's insane policy of shooting
terrorists in the legs encourages them to have the confidence to attack soldiers and leads to accidental deaths, like that of this poor 15 year old.
Protect innocent Palestiniank Arab lives by shooting at terrorists End the firing into the air! End the shooting of terrorists in the leg!! Just shoot. Palestinian Arab lives, not just our soldiers', depend on this!