Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has approved the use of sniper rifles against violent rioters in Jerusalem, Channel 10 reports on Thursday morning.
As part of his declared "war" on rock-throwing terrorists in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sought permission on Wednesday from the Attorney General to deploy snipers to target the attackers.
The army regularly deploys sniper teams to tackle rock- and firebomb-throwing rioters in Judea and Samaria. Regulations allow soldiers to use relatively low-caliber Ruger .22 rifles with telescopic sights to pick off rioters who pose a particularly serious threat to life.
In contrast, police in the capital are not able to do so under their own current rules of engagement, and are only allowed to respond to rioters with non-lethal riot-control measures, such as rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.
With Netanyahu's reassurance he was only seeking an internal police review of rules of engagement, Weinstein approved the request.
Along with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan also favor the proposed change.
In response to escalated violence in Jerusalem over the Rosh Hashana holiday, all three Likud politicians have vowed to crack down on terrorists and issue harsher punishments against those who disrupt public order.
Arab rioters have rampaged through parts of the capital – particularly the Old City and Temple Mount – since Sunday, in an attempt to force Israel to ban Jews from visiting the Temple Mount.
Jewish worshipers were beaten and chased by Muslim mobs in the Old City during the two-day holiday, and 64-year-old Alexander Levlovitz was murdered by rock-throwers while driving home on Sunday night.
Violence continued into Wednesday as well, with Arab rioters pelting an Israeli car with rocks, injuring the driver.