Ramallah– Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decided to expand gun permit eligibility in the occupied territories, creating additional concern among Palestinian officials amid fears of rising executions of Palestinians.
Erdan has claimed the decision is necessary for the security forces to be able to respond immediately to terrorist operations. The new gun license eligibility extends to include all former Israeli soldiers entitling them to carry a firearm.
Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the decision to expand gun permits, saying such a step represents a serious escalation by Israeli occupation forces regarding field executions policy which enables Israeli elements to shoot Palestinian people based on weak allegations.
The statement added that the decision reflects extremism, racism and hatred of Israeli society and its political and security leadership. It is the result of the wide incitement campaign carried out by the extremist right wing ruling party.
Israel Hayom newspaper said Erdan intends to confront attacks carried out by Palestinians since October 2015, when al-Quds Intifada was first launched.
The newspaper explained that the minister also wanted security forces to quickly respond in the event of a terror attack.
“I decided to switch to a balancing policy. It’s a matter of public interest: When a trained and armed individual is at the scene of a terror attack, we can see the difference. This saves human lives,” Erdan declared.
Over the past two years, a rising number of Israelis have rushed to official institutions to issue gun permits.
The Palestinian ministry held the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully responsible for the decision and its disastrous consequences.
It called on human rights organizations to consider such a dangerous decision and to take serious action to uncover and denounce this policy which leads to deadly acts against the Palestinian people.
The statement condemned the silence of the international community and UN organizations regarding the occupation’s crimes, adding it represents a cover for more Israeli escalatory acts, enabling the occupation authorities to violate international human rights laws.