[On March 30, unidentified armed men, backed by police special forces,
raided the Jewish community of Givat Ronen in the northern West Bank.
Witnesses said the force fired tear gas and stun grenades in an operation
meant to arrest a reserve air force officer.]
Vilnai acknowledged military exercises that included live fire on Jewish
residents of the West Bank. Vilnai, a former deputy chief of staff, said the
training simulated the use of lethal measures against Jewish civilians
"Soldiers are trained to fire at those firing at them," Vilnai told the
Knesset on March 9. "Knives have been pulled out before — and not just once
or twice — to be used on car tires. I am not sure it will not go further
Vilnai did not cite any cases of West Bank Jews firing toward Israeli
soldiers or police. In February, Israeli police, backed by the
fired plastic and rubber bullets toward Jews during a demolition operation
in the northern West Bank community of Gilad's Farm.
Military sources said the army was also training to employ live fire
toward Jewish resisters. In one simulation, a Jewish resident of the
northern West Bank held a knife to a soldier. The exercise ended with the
shot to death.
"Scenarios have an effect on public trends of thought," Knesset Speaker
Reuven Rivlin said.
Vilnai said the military exercises against West Bank Jews would
continue. Officials said the military and police were training to demolish
at least three Jewish communities this year.
"I was trained to, whenever someone threatens me with a weapon, do
everything in my power to escape," Vilnai said. "I have been threatened
eight or nine times, and the fact is that I am standing here while those who
threatened me are not."