Israeli army to upgrade to 'swifter, more deadly' rifle
The Israeli army may get its weaponry upgraded to a lighter and stronger assault riffle, leaving Palestinians yet more vulnerable to injuries and deaths by the occupation.
The army is reportedly upgrading its assault riffle to the locally made Tavor 7 for some soldiers in the infantry brigades next year – a weapon that Israeli weapons industries brag is a weapon that “you do not want to get hit by.”
“This weapon, which has better ballistics, has more force and a longer range,” Gilad Hemsani from Israel Weapon Industries told the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Sniper rifles have the same caliber of bullets as the Tavor 7 assault rifle. You don’t want to get hit by something like this.”
The rifle is designed to fire between 600 to 900 rounds per minute and only needs to be used with one hand, making it easier to use and more powerful against hitting their targets.
It is infamous for its longevity and its boosted accuracy, potentially leaving civilian targets, often Palestinians, at more risk of death and injury.
The Israeli army first used the Tavor in 2006 after replaced the American-made M-16 and M-14 rifles. Since then, it has since become the chief assault rifle for all IDF infantry and special forces units.
The Israeli army consistently shoots at Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, a move deplored by global human rights groups.
Last year, an Israeli army leader claimed shooting Gazan Palestinians in reaction to the Great Return March protests in the legs shows they are showing “restraint”.
"Israeli soldiers use live fire only as a last resort, after written and verbal warnings, as well as extensive use of tear gas and other non-lethal means have been exhausted. It is our duty to defend our civilians and sovereignty, and we do it with the minimal use of force possible," he added.
So far, at least 293 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the protests began, the majority during the protests.
Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab