IDF changes regulations, allowing troops to shoot at thieves, smugglers

The Israeli military has updated its open fire regulations that allow troops to use live fire against smugglers and suspected thieves on military bases.

Until now, troops could only open fire if their lives were in immediate danger. The new regulations will allow troops to use deadly force against thieves on military bases, shooting ranges and along the southern borders.

The recommendation to change the regulations was accepted by the IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General. Aviv Kohavi.

“The rules of engagement are coordinated with an up-to-date assessment of the situation and operational challenges. In recent weeks, the IDF has been working to implement the changes, to include the necessary changes in the relevant training programs, so that soldiers are informed about their bases from now on with updated orders according to their operating region. . “Said the military.

Defense forces on the Egyptian border (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

The IDF has struggled for years to deal with robberies at military bases in southern Israel, with thousands of weapons and ammunition stolen. The authorities fear that the stolen weapons, which include machine guns, grenades and explosives, could end up in the hands of criminal organizations or terrorist groups in the West Bank.

According to a Haaretz report, it is believed that approximately 70 percent of the 400,000 illegal weapons in the country were stolen from the army or the police. Another report said that between 2013-2020, thousands of IDF weapons have been stolen, including at least 482 pistols, 47m72 LAWs and two landmines.

But, the IDF reported that only 21 firearms had been stolen from the bases over the past year, marking a significant decrease from the previous year when they reported to the IDF and told the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense to be 80 firearms had been stolen.

Meanwhile, last year, the IDF told the same committee 100 incidents of gun theft at the IDF Ground Forces Training Center from 2018-2020. According to the army, around 50 robbery incidents per year were reported in the center in southern Israel.

In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, Brigadier General. (Res.) Asher Ben Lulu, former Chief of Staff of the Northern Command and executive director of Eshbal, said that many of the weapons stolen in recent years were stolen by IDF soldiers along with civilian contractors working on military bases that did not They only had access to the bases, but he knew where the weapons were stored.

Ben Lulu, who formed the committee that made the recommendations on how to stop gun theft from military bases, said there needs to be better infrastructure and more technology in the IDF, many of which were built during the British Mandate and they still have. be equipped with the appropriate and up-to-date technology to stop thefts despite being allocated a budget of NIS 150 million.

According to him, the IDF does not have a designated body to protect bases from robberies.

“There are not enough professionally trained soldiers to guard the military bases. Right now, he’s not the smartest soldier guarding the gates, ”he said.

“The IDF must understand that this is a profession in itself, that the protection of the bases must have its own body,” he continued, adding that “the IDF has to protect itself better and invest more in its security.”

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