As Jeff Gaelli points out, in that excellent report from Palestine, the IDF's 'official' policy is to fire at the legs of the protesters, but in fact, they do indeed target the upper torso and even the head! Rubber bullets do inflict severe pain and injuries, and even death, folks...!
What prompted that rant on rubber bullets is this appalling tale I'd read today...
Israeli military invades Palestinian village after Israeli Settlers attack family
On Thursday morning, in Tiqua village, near Bethlehem, a Palestinian family was attacked by Israeli settlers, which led to a clash between the residents of the village and Israeli forces.
According to Ma'an News, the incident happened when a Palestinian mother taking her two children, age 10 and 11, to school, was attacked by Israeli settlers, who threw stones at the family.
The three civilians were injured during the attack, which was followed by an Israeli military invasion of the town. Villagers angered by the incident were seen burning tires and throwing stones at the invading Israeli troops. According to the Israeli military, a crowd of around 50 Palestinians gathered to confront the invading troops.
Local witnesses said that when the Israeli forces raided the village, they fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the residents.
Talk about adding insult to injury...! *gah*
Now, I would like to highlight another recent incident that involved the use of Israeli rubber bullets...
MK Hanin Zoabi Wounded By Israeli Fire
Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, Haneen Zoabi, stated that she was hit by two rubber-coated bullets fired by the Israeli police during Wednesday’s clashes in Umm al-Fahm, after the police violently attacked protesters who took to the streets to counter a march by fundamentalist settlers.
The Arabs48 news website reported that Zoabi was deliberately targeted by the police. [...]
The Arabs48 news website reported that the police deliberately attacked political leaders including Mohammad Zeidan, head of the Higher Follow-up Committee; MK Dr. Jamal Zahalka; Awad Abdul-Fattah, secretary-general of the National Democratic Assembly; Umm al-Fahm mayor, Khaled Hamdan; MK Afou Agbaria and several other political and social figures.
MK Zoabi told the Arabs48 news that “the real threat against the protesters did not actually come from the extremist settlers, but in fact came from the police who deliberately attacked the protesters with the intent to hurt them”. She added that the police started firing rubber-coated bullets well before any clashes took place, and that the police apparently intended to send a message stating that “Arabs who defend themselves and stand for their rights, will be punished”.
Naturally, the Israeli Police called her a liar...!
That protest she'd participated in was an eerie equivalent of our own Skokie march. Complete with a Supreme Court ruling allowing the Fascists to march in hostile territory.
As I'd blogged shortly after it occurred...
Our Land of Israel group to hold protest rally in northern city against police ‘servility’ towards Islamic Movement. Clashes expected as last year. [...]
“Nothing is more symbolic than the fact that one day after the twentieth anniversary of his murder, Rabbi Kahane’s followers will arrive to continue his struggle against the Arab enemy in the Islamic Movement,” said Marzel. “It is our right to march and demand that the obsequiousness towards this terror movement be stopped. We demand that (leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, Sheikh) Raed Salah and his partners be made illegal. They made Kach illegal, so the Islamic Movement should be even more so.“
Several other notable quotes...
Police use stun grenades to disperse Umm el-Fahm protest
...National Union MK and Kahane disciple Michael Ben Ari announced on the way to the march that there are terrorists in Umm al Fahm.
“I warned, and no one listened to me!” Ben Ari said. “I turn to the prime minister and say: There is no reason that the Islamic Movement should be allowed to exist in Israel. In Egypt, it’s illegal. In Jordan, they’re not allowed to have any influence.”
Ben Ari continued: “There is no reason we should be a stupid democracy and let people who want to destroy us have a voice.”
After nearly half an hour of rock-throwing and tire-burning, police ran and rode horses into the streets of Umm al Fahm, continuing to shoot stun grenades and tear gas, and dragged away the offenders, as the right-wing activists approached the town.
Police arrested several suspects, and reported no injuries. MK Hanin Zoabi said she was injured by tear gas, and accused the police of using extensive force, Israel Radio reported.
Al Jazeera noted at the time...
The police responded with tear gas and baton charges, Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reported.
“Certainly police were expecting this kind of violence and it has manifested itself,” she said.
Fifteen of the Palestinian demonstrators were injured, two of them members of the Knesset.
No Our Land of Israel protesters were arrested, but ten from the Palestinian side were.
Plainclothes Israeli police officers were seen amongst the Palestinian protesters with handguns firing shots.
Protesters have said that they believe live ammunition was used, a charge which Israeli police deny.
Another notable cite...
The clashes erupted after more than 30 right-wing settlers traveled in buses from occupied Jerusalem to Umm al-Fahm this morning, led by far-right activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, in order to hold a protest march calling for outlawing the Islamic Movement.
Eyewitness said that undercover agents who were throwing stones along with Umm Al-Fahm young men fired shots into the air to signal to the Israeli policemen to start their attack on the Palestinians. Those agents helped the policemen to arrest seven of the Palestinian protesters. [...]
Earlier before the arrival of the settler’s buses, eyewitness reported that more than 1,500 Israeli policemen were deployed in Umm Al-Fahm and its environs to protect them after an Israeli court allowed them to march in the city.
1,500 for 30 marchers...? 50 policemen to every 'marcher'...?
As I'd closed...
...Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told the Knesset that the rightist march in Umm al-Fahm had been approved by the Supreme Court and coordinated with the police.
“Gunpowder was already laid out on the city’s grounds and police officers did their utmost to maintain order. Sometimes the price of preserving democracy is use of force – these are rules applicable to every protest. I support the officers,” he said.
Btw, this isn't just an I/P issue...