Soldiers in Gaza
Soldiers in GazaFlash 90

Far left group B'Tselem is once again using half-truths, outdated information, and suspect sources to defame the IDF, an army spokesperson said Monday. The statement by the IDF came in the wake of a report by B'Tselem that claims that the IDF used harsh anti-riot techniques at demonstrations by Arabs, killing at least 20 Arab protesters a year.

The report said that soldiers in the field “consistently violated” the rules laid down by the justice system and IDF commanders regarding rules on opening fire against protesters. The report added that this resulted in the deaths and injuries of many Arabs during “peaceful protests.”

But the report was just a rehash of old semi-truths, outdated material, and unbalanced sources, failing to investigate fully the incidents in which protesters were injured or killed. No Arabs were killed unless they were about to use a weapon, the statement said, and the vast majority of protests – many of them violent – took place with little or no interference from the IDF, unless the lives or property of soldiers or civilians was at risk.

“The rules of engagement used by soldiers in the field have been approved by legal authorities and are clear to all soldiers,” the army said. “Soldiers who serve in units that use anti-riot techniques are given special training and guidance. The IDF does everything possible to ensure that these rules are followed, including breaking up riots. The IDF is committed to ensuring stability in Judea and Samaria.”

Nevertheless, the statement said, the army would examine the information in the report and investigate specific cases listed. “If necessary we will open an official investigation into the incidents, in accordance with the policies laid down by the High Court.”