Official Palestinian Condemnations of Israeli Decision to Use Snipers against Jerusalem Protesters

RAMALLAH, September 17, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Government of National Consensus and the President’s office denounced on Thursday Israel’s approval of the use of sniper fire against Palestinian “stone-throwers” in Jerusalem.

The government said such a decision consolidates the Israeli “growing tide” of murdering Palestinians – with impunity – in blatant violations of all international treaties, particularly the Fourth Geneva conventions relative to the protection of civilians at time of armed conflicts.

“Israel’s approval of the use of sniper fire against Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem constitutes an Israeli official permission to murder and suppress our people, and under the protection of law,” the Government said in an official statement.

It called upon the international community to immediately and actively act to compel Israel to stop its violations of international law.

The government stressed that the only way to stop the Israeli violations and crimes committed against the Palestinian people, is through ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, and with Jerusalem as it capital.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudainah also condemned the Israeli move, and said Israel was gradually and consequently enforcing new facts on the ground in Jerusalem.

He said that president Mahmoud Abbas is set next week to hold meetings focusing on the volatile situation in Jerusalem with  French president, François Hollande, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and with the US administration, stressing that Israel’s provocations and attempts to judaize the city of Jerusalem are outright rejected and would not be tolerated.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that by taking such a decision, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flouts all international and regional calls that warn against an outbreak in the situation, in light of Israel’s continued escalation at al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

It said Israeli government-backed extremist groups continue to mobilize for mass Jewish visits to al-Aqsa Mosque compound to mark the Jewish Rosh Hashanah holiday over the next few days, warning that this could lead to more tension in the holy city.

This came in the aftermath of Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein’s decision to allow use of sniper fire against Palestinian “stone-throwers” who protest against Israel’s growing dominance over al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

A decision that came only a day after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared what he described as a “war” on rock-throwing protesting Palestinians in Jerusalem

Along with Netanyahu, “Defense” Minister Moshe Yaalon and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan also favored the proposed change, reported Israeli media outlets.

Shortly after the decision was approved, witnesses said that Israeli police used live ammunition for the first time against Palestinian protesters during clashes at al-Issawiya, al-Tour, and Silwan neighborhood districts in Jerusalem. Dozens of injuries caused by use of firearms and rubber-coated steel bullets by Israeli police  were reported.