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Media Analyses





Haaretz Omits Critical Information on New Police Regulations


In Jacky Khoury's July 5 article, " New Regulations Allow Israel Police to Respond to Stone-throwing, Firecrackers With Live Fire," Haaretz grossly misrepresents new police regulations.

The regulations are very clear that police can only fire when there is a clear and immediate danger to life or limb. The article completely omits this critical qualification, stating only:

Israel Police are now permitted to fire live bullets as a first resort against people throwing stones or incendiary devices, including fire crackers, according to open-fire regulations that were loosened last December in light of an upsurge of violence in East Jerusalem.

The article selectively quotes from the regulations, omitting the qualification that "it is permissible to open fire only when there is a clear threat to life or limb." The article states:

Among the new instructions: “A policeman is permitted to open fire at a person who is clearly seen to throw, or is about to throw, an incendiary device ... or is about to fire an incendiary device ... or is about to fire directly aimed firecrackers, in order to prevent the danger.” [Ellipses appear in Haaretz.]

The regulations also say that “throwing stones while using a slingshot” is an example of an incident that justifies shooting with live fire.

In the regulations (reproduced below), the directive that "it is permissible to open fire only when there is a clear threat to life or limb" appears immediately after the sentence "A policeman is permitted. . . . in order to prevent the danger." But Haaretz did not include the reference to "life or limb."
 

In a second Haaretz article about the new police regulations ("Israel Police Refuse to Reveal Protocol on Use of Controversial Sniper Rifles," July 7), the same selective quote, again with the omission of the crucial qualification, again appears.
 
The fact that a policeman may only open fire when there is a clear and immediate threat to life or limb appears also in the "emphases" at the end of the police document:
 

CAMERA has contacted Haaretz editors and requested that they add this critical information. As of this publication, they have yet to do so.


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