A new directive that came into force on Sunday states that IDF soldiers will be permitted to shoot at the legs at thieves who attempt to steal weapons from IDF bases and training grounds. Heretofore, the policy has been that soldiers were forbidden from firing at thieves even if they are caught red-handed.
In the vast majority of cases up to this point, the thieves prevailed because they used SUVs and ATVs to make their escapes.
A senior IDF officer explained that over the past year there has been an increase in the number of arms thefts from the military. Stolen rifles, machine guns, grenades and explosives sometimes end up in the hands of criminal organizations, and some reach terrorist organizations in the West Bank.
The senior officer added that every unit that carries out exercises in training grounds will lay out the policy and whether it is to be implemented by its soldiers.
Despite police activity against the phenomenon in recent years, it has continued to intensify. Two weeks ago in the Golan Heights, thieves managed to steal the base several weapons from an IDF base and escape undisturbed.
Meanwhile, the head of the IDF's technology and logistics division, Major General Aharon Haliva, has decided in recent days that IDF generals will hold only one vehicle (a brown car designed for field trips), and not two vehicles, brown and white, The IDF is planning to extend the change to officers with the rank of brigadier general in accordance with their roles and needs.
(Translated and edited by J. Herzog)