IDF arming and training Israeli settlers against Palestinians

According to “Haaretz”, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces – Tzahal) has conducted detailed work to determine a “red line” for each settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, which will determine when soldiers will be ordered “to shoot at the feet of Palestinian protesters if the line is crossed”. It is also arming settlers with tear gas and stun grenades as part of the “defense operation”.

and settlers during an occupation of Palestinian lands near Beit Sahour, August 2008 (Photo: Activestills)

The IDF is currently in the process of finalizing its preparations for “Operation Summer Seeds”, whose purpose is to ready the army for September and the possibility of confrontations with Palestinians massive demonstrations following the expected vote in favor of Palestinian statehood at the UN General Assembly.

According to a document acquired by “Haaretz”, the main working assumption of the defense establishment is that a Palestinian declaration of independence will cause a public uprising “which will mainly include mass disorder.”

The document states the disorder will include “marches toward main junctions, Israeli communities, and education centers; efforts at damaging symbols of [Israeli] government. Also, there may be more extreme cases like shooting from within the demonstrations or even terrorist incidents. In all the scenarios, there is readiness to deal with incidents near the fences and the borders of the State of Israel.”

As part of its preparations, the IDF is investing a great deal of effort in preparing the settlers for the repression. Yesterday the army held training sessions for the chief security officers of settlements at a military installation near Shiloh. In recent weeks the IDF has been training the readiness squads of settlements at the Lachish base, which is used as a command training center ahead of September.

Also, during the past week the National Emergency Management Authority at the Defense Ministry sent letters to the heads of settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories in which they wrote that “difficulties in supply of fuel and gas are expected, and the owners of stations should be ordered to have full loads of fuel. It is also recommended that the owners of grocery stores should ensure they have sufficient stores. Patrols around the electricity and water supply installations and communications lines should be increased. Moreover, the letters said that government offices will be on standby, starting on September 19.