Addressing a question, the Israeli defense establishment senior officials have until now preferred to avoid on how will police officers and troops behave if extreme anti-pullout Jews open fire at them, the new Israeli army chief of staff, Dan Halutz told reporters on Tuesday, that he would not endanger lives of his troops in such circumstances, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

‘If we come to that, I don’t intend for IDF soldiers to be like ducks in a shooting gallery,’ said Halutz.


The source added that when it comes to responding to Jewish-extremists opening fire, ‘rules of engagement’ become one of the sensitive issues.  Basically, there are no clear directives on this issue.  On the other hand, it sometimes does not need double thinking when the shooter is a non-Jew; troops and police can open fire to respond.


The absence of clear directives on this issue was exposed when the right-wing army officer, Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians while praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque, (Tomb of the Patriarchs) in the West Bank city of
Hebron on February 25, 1994.


To this day, Haaretz say, there have been no recorded instances in which soldiers fired at right-wing Jewish extremists, Haaretz said.

Apparently, this is one of the major challenges facing the security establishment, even the entire government, in implementing the disengagement amidst mounting threats by the Jewish-Extremists to use violence to hinder the evacuation.

Israeli soldiers and police, however, opened fire several times on left-wing activists and Israeli anarchists who joined protests with Palestinians in the West Bank .

Yet, the army issued directives forbidding troops from firing live rounds at Israeli protestors after Israeli activist Gil Na’amati was wounded by army fire a year and a half ago in an anti-wall protest near the village of Mas’ha in the West Bank.


For the disengagement, the confrontation will not be with nonviolent Jewish protestors, like Gil Na’amati, rather with mostly armed extreme right-wing Jews who have in their mind that they are being evacuated from the Land of Israel , ready to open fire at anyone who tries to evacuate them.


The Army, said Haaretz, has created special headquarters for this issue, where elite military and police forces will be on call, along with the Masada ‘control unit’ of the Shin Bet security service.

  ‘There will be no [military] use of weapons, unless God forbid one ofe [pullout] opponents makes that mistake,’ Halutz said Tuesday. ‘There are extremists like that, and we will have to isolate them one way or another.’

While Palestinian factions committed to allow disengagement not take place under Palestinian resistance, Israel has to cope with extreme right-wing Jewish fire.

Last week outgoing Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter told Haaretz, ‘There are radicals and hooligans who have no compunction with regard to opening fire on a soldier or police officer, if they only get the opportunity.’