Israeli police is now authorized to use lethal force against Palestinian throwing stones, firebombs or fireworks, according to documents revealed by human rights group Adalah.
The latest open-fire regulations for Israeli police officers were approved and sent to officers in December, following two months of sporadic stabbing and vehicular attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces in Jerusalem, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
The regulations include authorisation for officers to use live ammunition against Palestinians, including minors, suspected of throwing stones or firebombs, or those who appear likely to be about to commit such an offence.
It also gives police officers authorisation to use lethal force as a first option in such cases.
Previously, lethal force had been reserved as a final option for police officers when confronting violent Palestinian protests, only to be used after non-lethal means.
The regulations were partially revealed by the Israeli police to Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, after the NGO successfully petitioned an Israeli court for access to the documents.
On Monday, the group released excerpts which state that under the new regulations, "an officer is permitted to open fire [with live ammunition] directly on an individual who clearly appears to be throwing or is about to throw a firebomb, or who is shooting or is about to shoot fireworks, in order to prevent endangerment", while the same response would be justified in a situation of "stone throwing using a slingshot".