Israel weighs permitting soldiers to open fire at rock-hurling Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called an emergency security meeting Tuesday with several Cabinet Ministers and Security Chiefs to discuss the surge of Palestinian stone-throwing attacks and other disturbances in Jerusalem and on highways, leading Sunday night to the death of an Israeli motorist at the hands of stone-throwers. The prime minister ordered reassessment of the recent orders to abstain from live fire against Palestinian stone-throwers, except in life-threatening situations. Also discussed was new legislation for raising the minimum jail sentence and imposing high fines on offenders and their parents, in the case of minors. The session began with Netanyahu stressing the importance of maintaining the status quo on Temple Mount and not permitting Palestinian and other Muslims to prevent Jewish visits to the shrine by staging violent disturbances.

“We will fight by all necessary means against the users of stones, bottle bombs, pipe bombs and fire crackers for the deliberate intent of harming civilians and police officers,” the prime minister said. “It was proven again that rocks can kill and throwers will henceforth face severe punishment and deterrent penalties.”

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