Defense minister backs IDF chief on rules of engagement
After criticism over Eisenkot’s comment that he didn’t want ‘a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl with scissors,’ Ya’alon says that ‘If someone poses a risk to our lives or the lives of others – we obviously must stop them, but we must not lose our humanity.’
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon backed IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott on Thursday, after the latter was hit with harsh criticism from the right-wing for saying that he didn’t want “a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl with scissors.”
“We’ve been fighting for our national home for many years. We need a skilled force to deal with our enemies, but we must maintain our values,” Ya’alon said.
During a meeting with high school students in Bat Yam on Wednesday, the IDF chief was asked about the apparently soft rules of engagement in the West Bank.
IDF chief Eisenkot and Defense Minister Ya’alon (Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry)
“A soldier receives a rifle or a rocket to take a human life, and the rules of engagement are derived from the mission the force receives,” Eisenkot said. “We do not act according to slogans like ‘whoever comes to kill you, kill him first.’ A soldier can remove the safety and shoot if there is a danger to him or his comrades.”
These comments led to criticism from the right-wing, particularly from Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich, who also complained to the defense minister.
But the defense minister, who spoke on Thursday at a seminar at the Tel Chai College in memory of Maj. Eitan Balahsan, said he “completely backs what the chief of staff said on this matter.”
According to Ya’alon, the rules of engagement have educational and ethical aspects in addition to operational aspects.
“Pulling the trigger in cases like that is the result of a very significant decision, because eventually, when if it is an enemy, you are taking his life,” he said.
“If they pose a risk to our lives or the lives of others – we obviously must stop them and harm them in this short battle. On the other hand, we must not lose our humanity in moments like that, just because blood is boiling. We hear a lot of expressions like ‘We must eliminate them and go crazy.’ I say no to that: No to hurting innocent people, no to creating circumstances that would make us lose our way and the righteousness of that way. If there are innocents who do not pose any danger – women, children or helpless people – we mustn’t unleash our rage on them.”
Both these men need to be removed from their post. But Bibi is so out of touch with the common people it will not happen.
” Eisenkot said. “We do not act according to slogans like ‘whoever comes to kill you, kill him first.’
You moron, this is not a slogan it is Judaism. It is part of our religion, maybe if you spent some time every day studying some Torah you wouldn’t be so stupid.
Ya’Alon please point out to us the innocent Arabs that you speak of. Thirty years ago I would agree with you but after nearly 20 years of radicalization under one so called peace process after an other. These people don’t exists.
Maybe you mean innocent like the two 14 year olds that stabbed 2 Jews in a super market today with the intent of murder. Thank G-D 2 Jewish civilians’ had a pistol’s and shot both of these 14 year olds dead.