Concerns of Palestinian protests against nearby Jewish Settlements over the upcoming U.N. bid for Palestinian statehood has prompted the Israeli Army to make some risky security decisions.
A plan is in progress to train and arm settlers with non-lethal munitions to support army personnel with the defense of the settlements. The army has also established two virtual “trigger lines” surrounding settlements with nearby Palestinian villages. The first line of defense is a trigger to launch non-lethal munitions including tear gas with a second “Red” trigger line to initiate lethal rounds against the extremities of the protestors. Now the source on this is Al Jazeera but, Israeli sources have confirmed that lethal force is authorized for defensive actions, which is in the eye of the beholder.
My problem with this strategy is twofold. First, the settlers and Palestinians have a rough history, worse than the Israeli Army’s as they have been neighbors long enough to get some old fashion blood feuds going. Many Palestinians claim that Settlers are known to shoot locals and the police / security forces are apt to let the investigation go cold. Non-Lethal weapons can kill and are incredibly dangerous in green hands, a malicious person can do a fatal amount of damage fast and I am sure an angry mob would react poorly to watching one of their own go down like that.
Secondly, if the red trigger line is crossed, no doubt many of the protestors will die. In the stress of battle, armed and in full kit, with an angry mob scaring the Moses outta you; perfect accuracy will be difficult. Some people will take rounds either center mass or to the head, not to mention the wounded who will die due to infection and inadequate medical care. And Zeus forgive what could happen if some of the protestors bring guns.
There is no easy answer for this one and I will watch and hope for the best. Israel finds itself uncomfortably sitting on a powder keg and lets hope no one brings matches.