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  • Israeli soldiers have faced criticism for the way they interpret the "threat to life."

    Israeli soldiers have faced criticism for the way they interpret the "threat to life." | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 July 2016

The new policy treats stone throwing as an "act of war" and poses a "fatal danger" to young Palestinians, according to NGO Adalah.

Israeli police will now be allowed to use lethal force as a first resort against Palestinians who throw stones, firebombs, or fireworks, according to the documents revealed by the human rights group Adalah on Monday.

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These latest regulations were approved and sent to officers in December after a series of attacks against Israeli security forces in both Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories.

"The new regulations allow officers to act in an unchecked and criminal manner," said Adalah Attorney Mohammad Bassam. "The chances that actions such as stone throwing or shooting of fireworks would present a life-threatening danger are extremely slim and there is no doubt that it is possible to handle such situations using non-lethal means."

Live ammunition can be used against even minors that are suspected of throwing stones or firebombs, and even those who appear to be likely to do so.

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In the past, lethal force was a final option for police officers when confronting violent Palestinian resistance, but they have now been authorized to use it as a first option.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, was successful in petitioning the Israeli court for access to the documents detailing the regulations.

Palestinians have always been subjected to Israeli’s excessive use of lethal force, often being killed even when they have appeared to pose no immediate threat to life.

Israel's security cabinet first approved these new measures in September 2015 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a "war" against those who throw stones.

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