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Adele Biton
Reproduction photo courtesy of Shomron Regional Council

Settlers demand change in rules of engagement: 'Stones also kill'

West Bank Jews urge stone-throwing be treated the same as live fire, following recent attacks on routes 5 and 443; data shows surge in stone-throwing attacks, with 250 incidents in February alone

Settlers, backed by Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman, are urging the IDF to change its rules of engagement and treat stone-throwing the same as live fire.

 

The appeal followed a recent surge in stone-throwing incidents across the West Bank, which culminated in the severe injury of three-year-old Adele Biton on Route no. 5, a main road across Samaria.

 

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Following November's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, the number of stone-throwing attacks leaped to 70 in December, 120 in January and 250 in February.

 


שרידי הרכב של משפחת ביטון. הסבתא זיהתה (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Remains of car following stone-throwing on Route no. 5 (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

The central areas for stone-throwing are the Gush Etzion-Hebron road, the Huwara village near Nablus, Wadi Haramieh and recently also main roads such as Route no. 5 and Route no. 443 between Modiin and Jerusalem.

 

"People I don't know tried to kill me," complained Rabbi Haim Navon, whose windshield was smashed by a stone on Route 443 over the weekend.

 

"You can't say anymore that it's only about some secluded roads on the way to a settlement at the end of the world," he said.

 

"But stone-violence in these far-off areas mustn't be tolerated, because if you tolerate that, you will have to face the same on Route no. 443. And if we keep holding ourselves back, we'll get stones on Route 1 as well."

 

Over the last few days settler leaders have appealed the political echelon to change the rules of engagement, which determine what provides sufficient cause for opening fire, and asked that stone-throwing be treated the same as live-fire, as "a stone also kills."

 

The appeal was led by Yesha Chairman Avi Roeh and backed by former foreign minister and current MK Lieberman.

 

But the increase in stone-throwing incidents is just a part of a general trend. According to Shin Bet data, not including stone-throwings, January saw 83 terror attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem, compared to 41 the previous year.

 

In February, the number rose to 138, including the planting of 15 explosive charges, 2 stabbings, one attack in which an Israeli was run over and 119 Molotov cocktails lobbed at Israeli citizens.

 

 

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פרסום ראשון: 03.27.13, 12:56
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