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Ronald Reagan Administration:
State Department Memo on the Landau Report

(November 1987)


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FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE
INFO AMCONSUL JERUSALEM IMMEDIATE

E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR
TAGS: PHUM, PBTS, PREL, IS

SUBJECT: DEMARCHE TO GOI ON LANDAU REPORT AND USE OF LIVE FIRE

1. Entire Text

2. We agree that you should make demarche to Shamir and Rabin along lined recommended REFTEL A. In addition to points in PARA 10, REF A, you may also indicate that we are disturbed over the Landau Commission's suggestion that some measure of physical pressure may be acceptable during interrogations. We would hope that the GOI would not condone such practices and would conduct interrogations in accordance with internationally accepted norms. You should emphasize that future charges of impropriety by security personnel could be easily avoided by permitting prisoners full access to defense attorneys, including their presence during interrogations.

3. Please include in your demarche to Rabin our positions on use of live fire, drawing, as appropriate, on information contained in REFTEL D. We have discussed this with AMB Pickering and suggest that the following points, in addition to those contained in REF C, as appropriate be used in your discussion:

We are currently in the process of reviewing Rules of Engagement (ROE) used in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as their effectiveness. Based on our review thus far, Israel's ROE for dealing with demonstrations and fugitives, as we understand them, go beyond those used by security forces elsewhere, often in similar situations.

In addition, we have seen recently reports in the media indicating that IDF soldiers have nine typed pages of procedures for crowd control and apprehension of suspects. It would seem to us that soldiers could not realistically be expected to follow such lengthy procedures when faced with such situations and that simpler guidelines would be more appropriate.

4. As reported REFTEL C, we have already reviewed the ROE for U.S. municipal and military forces regarding the use of live fire against civilians. We have also reviewed the ROE for British forces in Northern Ireland (Protect), where the situation most nearly parallels the Israeli position in the Occupied Territories. Compared with these, the Israel ROE as we understand them give security forces excessive leeway regarding the use of live fire.

Shultz.


Sources: Department of State.

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