PLO: Israel’s New Rules of Engagement Against Rioters Meant to “Dehumanize” Palestinians

“The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” (Psalm 11:5)

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Saturday that the new Israeli rules of engagement, which permit police to use live ammunition to stop Arab stone and Molotov-cocktail throwers, “dehumanize” the Palestinians.

He said the “Israeli government continues to incite against Palestinian lives, with a culture of hate that dehumanizes a whole nation,” Ma’an reported.

Over the past three weeks, Arabs have been waging “popular terrorism” on the Temple Mount and in the neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem, with violent riots spreading to other parts of Judea and Samaria. Both Hamas and the PLO have been inciting Palestinian youths to use violence against Jews.

One Israeli was killed on the eve of Rosh Hashanah from a rock attack on his car. Several police and security officers have been injured. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stressed in mid-September that that the mosque of “Al-Aqsa is ours, the Holy Sepulcher is also ours. [The Jews] have no right to dirty the mosque with their filthy feet, we won’t let them do it.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel calls on the PA stop its wild incitement to Arab violence. He stressed that all the claims by PA officials, including by its Chairman, about Israel’s intention to harm Islamic holy places are nonsense.

Erekat said the PLO would hold Netanyahu and his security cabinet responsible for “the new crimes to be committed under this new regulation,” threatening that violations of international law under the new rules of engagement would be reported to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem warned last week that the approval of live fire against stone throwers in occupied East Jerusalem would “exacerbate the cycle of violence with lethal results.” However, Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the next few weeks will entirely change the security reality of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing, thanks to Thursday’s decision of the security cabinet. He told Israel Radio that these steps should put out the volcano before it erupts.