The IDF is holding discussing on ways of handling future cases of settler violence following the raid on the Ephraim Brigade base and the attack on the brigade commander on Tuesday. The army is considering taking a firmer hand against rioters targeting the IDF.
Among the options being explored is the use of crowd dispersal means such as shock or gas grenades, water canons and in cases of mass riots more advanced tools such as odor and noise weapons.
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The IDF is also revisiting fire protocols in cases where soldiers' lives may be in danger which involve the hurling of stones or glass bottles. IDF forces refrained from using weapons in previous clashes with Jewish rioters and physically blocked the assailants. Ephraim Brigade deputy commander Lt. Col. Tzur Harpaz did just that on Tuesday when he left his weapon in the jeep before being hit with a stone in his head.
Traces of burning tires near Ephraim base (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
"The extent of hatred, daringness, preparation and total disregard for the law warrant a reexamination of scenarios and responses when dealing with such rioters," a military official told Ynet. "We must leave behind this notion of hyper-sensitivity. This is outright terror."
"There is no difference between Palestinian rioters who hurl stones and run away and their Jewish counterparts. There is a difference between how we handle a family that must be evacuated out of its home subject to cabinet orders and dealing with violent rioters."
Brigade deputy commander's jeep stained with blood (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
The army is aware of the soldiers' psychological difficulty in confronting Jews and the matter will be addressed in briefs and talks with the troops. The forces will revisit fire protocols in cases involving figures approaching IDF bases and posts.
A soldier guarding an entrance to a base is required to follow the fire protocol when suspicious figures approach the base, but this is based on the assumption that any such suspect is a Palestinian terrorist. "Tuesday's event undermines this perception," the officer said.
"The goal is that soldiers have no doubts as to how to handle each case. A soldier cannot become confused when a Jew comes to throw a concrete block on him. These are no longer isolated disruptions but direct and intentional harm to soldiers and officers."
A list of IDF recommendations are set to be brought for the approval of the prime minister and defense minister. "This is not a military event, but a national issue with everything that comes along with that."
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in response: "The events of the night in question are being investigated. Lessons will be drawn once the inquiry is over. The IDF regards acts directed against its soldiers very gravely."
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