IDF: Don't Kill Firebombers

New instructions have been handed out to IDF soldiers: when someone throws a firebomb, you may no longer shoot to kill.

Gil Ronen , | updated: 1:54 PM

Safe from the knees up: fire bomber
Safe from the knees up: fire bomber
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The IDF has changed its standing instructions for soldiers regarding opening fire at terrorists who throw firebombs, Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service reported. According to military sources, the new instructions are part of an attempt to “change the atmosphere” in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) and to make Arabs' lives easier. 

Fire bomb explodes near IDF soldiers, 2002 / Israel news photo: Flash 90

Whereas for decades, fire bombs have been treated as a lethal weapon and IDF soldiers were instructed to shoot to kill whoever throws them, the new instructions only permit soldiers to shoot at the fire bomber's legs, and even then – only up to knee level.

If the firebomb has already been thrown and the bomber has turned his back on the soldier – the soldier may not fire at all.

The IDF Spokesman's Unit said in response that “firing at firebombers is carried out in accordance with the regular procedures and only in cases where there is danger to life. These procedures have recently been clarified and do not constitute a change in the policy for opening fire.”

Dov Kalmanovich, who was permanently disfigured in a fire bomb attack in the "first Intifada." / Israel news photo: Creative Commons