Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai says he believes the current open-fire rules are suitable, but would not directly negate Public Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s stated plans to relax them.
“In my opinion, how I see it, the current open-fire rules provide police officers with the answers they need in various situations,” Shabtai says in an interview with Channel 12 news.
But Shabtai does not directly contradict Ben Gvir, saying that “the minister may be talking about certain scenarios” and that he does not need “to give any answer” before an in-depth discussion on the issue is held.
Ben Gvir has said he believes security forces’ open-fire regulations should be relaxed to permit them to shoot anyone holding stones or Molotov cocktails, representing a potential threat.
Shabtai has been critical of Ben Gvir’s policies in the past, but has taken a more neutral tone since the minister took office.
In the interview, Shabtai also blames “the media” for creating a charged atmosphere ahead of last night’s mass protest in Tel Aviv, saying the police only noted the possibility that violence could break out at the rally.