Israeli Army Trains Settlers to Confront Palestinian Protesters
Posted on Aug 30, 2011
Fearing a mass uprising if Palestinians win statehood in the U.N. next month, the Israel Defense Forces are training settlers in the West Bank and equipping settlement security personnel with tear gas and stun grenades. The IDF is also designating a point for each settlement at which soldiers are free to shoot at the legs of protesters.
Frustrated with the stalled peace process and continued settlement construction on occupied land, the Palestinian leadership is pursuing recognition as an independent state in the United Nations.
Haaretz reports it has obtained a document suggesting that the Israeli military is preparing for “mass disorder” in case the Palestinians are successful. —PZS
As part of its preparations, the IDF is investing a great deal of effort in preparing the settlers for the incidents, with the main concern being confrontations between Israeli settlers and the Palestinians.
Yesterday the army held training sessions for the chief security officers of settlements at a military installation near Shiloh. In recent weeks the IDF has been training the readiness squads of settlements at the Lachish base, which is used as a command training center ahead of September.
The main message the army is issuing is that the demonstrations will be controlled and that the army has sufficient forces in order to deal with every disturbance. In order to be sure, there is also a decision, in principle, to equip the chief security officers of settlements with the means for dispersing demonstrations. These would include tear gas and stun grenades, although that would create a logistical problem as there’s a shortage of means for firing that type of ammunition.
Israel Defense Forces personnel take target practice in this file photo.