Protesters: IDF used .22-caliber ammo at West Bank fence

By Amira Hass, Haaretz – 16 Nov 2009

Protesters say the Israel Defense Forces used live ammunition from Ruger rifles last Friday to disperse a demonstration near the separation fence at the West Bank town of Na’alin. In 2001, the military advocate general ordered a halt to the use of such rifles for crowd control.

Two injured protesters told other demonstrators that a soldier had fired at them from about 40 meters away while they were throwing stones at a jeep parked at an IDF outpost.

In June a 35-year-old Na’alin resident, Aqel Srur, was killed when a member of the Border Police fired a .22-caliber bullet at him.

On Saturday near the separation fence, a 10-year-old boy said soldiers had severely beaten him. In addition, 18 protesters near the village of Dir al-Rusun were reportedly arrested.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office denied that the boy was harmed; it said he was arrested among others and later returned to his home because of his age. The spokesman’s office said that .22-caliber bullets were used “in accordance with strict rules of engagement regarding protesters who intend to harm the security forces and vandalize the separation fence.”

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