On the night of Tuesday, August 11th, in light of assessments on the ground and unfolding recent incidents, the IDF issued new instructions that clarify the manner in which their forces are to deal with threats that may not constitute a clear and immediate danger to their lives.
Central command issued the updated ROE in the West Bank. This is the first dramatic change in the Israeli ROE for operations in the West Bank in the past 15 years. The previous ROE (Can we call them old, already?) were set by the 2000 Israeli government, led by then-Prime Minster Ehod Barack (1999 to 2001). They were in need of being modified, as the reality in the West Bank changed every day, especially after incidents such as the murder of Shalhevet Pass.
Back then, the ROE was basically about no direct fire, but included several warning phases (vets know the drill from Iraq/Afghanistan), which eventually permitted a soldier to fire a single shot toward an open space next to a ‘suspect,’ only in the worst case permitting direct fire. The defense establishment wishes to avoid situations in which the IDF gunfire leads to the death of an alleged terrorist, a development that is liable to spark widespread protest and further fan nationalistic flames.
Before we look at the new ROE, please keep in mind that those orders are oriented around scenarios such as active-shooter situations, riots, hit-and-run strikes, or a lone-wolf terrorist attack. So let’s check some highlights: