Israel Arming Settlements as Protests Loom

Settlers get tear gas, stun grenades ahead of statehood debate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2011 4:58 AM CDT
Israel Arming Settlements as Protests Loom
Palestinian protesters demanding access to land near an Israeli settlement, run away from teargas fired by Israeli troops.   (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

The Israeli military, expecting widespread confrontations in the West Bank as the United Nations debates recognizing a Palestinian state, is training Jewish settlers to repel protests. Settlement security chiefs are being given tear gas and stun grenades, and the military is mapping out firing zones around settlements, according to leaked documents obtained by Haaretz.

Palestinians entering the outer zone will be tear-gassed and soldiers have orders to shoot at the legs of any who cross the inner "red line," which may not be clearly marked, according to documents outlining "Operation Summer Seeds." An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that the military is training "community leadership and security personnel throughout Judea and Samaria," but refused to say whether settlements were being provided with additional weapons, the Telegraph notes. (More Palestinian statehood stories.)

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