Daily Israel Report

MK Seeks New ‘Open Fire’ Laws in Judea, Samaria

MK seeks to give Israelis east of the green line greater leniency in shooting to protect selves, property.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/24/2013, 1:44 PM

MK Orit Strook
MK Orit Strook
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Orit Struk of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) faction has called to end the wave of property crimes targeting Jewish in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) by giving Israeli farmers in the region leave to open fire on intruders.

Elsewhere in Israel farmers are allowed to fire on potentially dangerous intruders under the Dromi Law, named for Negev farmer Shai Dromi.

According to Haaretz, Struk is asking that the Dromi Law go into effect in Judea and Samaria as well. The Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee reportedly plans to discuss the proposed change in the near future.

Struk is also campaigning to apply laws protecting women’s rights in the workplace to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

In theory, the Dromi Law should apply to Judea and Samaria automatically, due to the fact that it – unlike the law regarding women’s rights in the workplace – is part of the criminal, not civil, legal code. 

However, in practice, the IDF implies its own restrictive rules regarding opening fire in an attempt to avoid conflict between Israelis and Palestinian Authority resident Arabs. IDF regulations say a gun may be fired in self-defense only in case of an imminent attack with a deadly weapon. The would-be attacker must be actually holding the weapon in order to justify gunfire.

Struk was quoted by Haaretz as saying, “The IDF’s open-fire orders say it is permissible to shoot only in case of a definite threat to life. The Dromi Law, on the other hand, determines that a person may drive off – using gunfire – someone who is causing harm to their body or property.”

Struk reportedly said that she asked the IDF’s top prosecutor why Israelis and Judea and Samaria are prohibited to use gunfire in cases where Israeli law allows it. “He said that the military commander has the right to forbid what is allowed by law,” she said.