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IDF eases rules of engagement for break-ins on bases, border smuggling

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli troops guard along the security fence on the Israel-Egypt border, November 2012. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Israeli troops guard along the security fence on the Israel-Egypt border, November 2012. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces updates its rules of engagement to allow soldiers to more easily open fire at suspected thieves and smugglers in a bid to crackdown on crime, the military says.

Under the IDF’s new open-fire regulations, troops can now use deadly force in cases of thefts of weapons and ammunition from military bases, break-ins at bases and firing ranges, smuggling attempts along the Israeli-Egyptian border. In the past, soldiers could only open fire in those circumstances if their lives were in immediate danger.

The change was made following years of public and internal criticism of the military’s rules of engagement and after a review of the policies, the IDF says. The recommendation was presented to IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, who signed off on the change, the military says.

“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 into relevant training programs, so that soldiers will be briefed on their bases from now on with up-to-date orders in accordance with their operational region,” the military says.

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