Exceeding the limits

The headline in The Jerusalem Post last Friday read “Soldier arrested for shooting subdued terrorist after Hebron attack,” an example of a dedicated soldier exceeding the limits.  Once a perpetrator is down and is no longer a threat it is forbidden according to the strict rules of engagement followed by the IDF to shoot and kill him.  The soldier was therefore arrested and will be indicted for murder.  We are a country of laws and contrary to what the haters and the BDSers say, our soldiers do not kill children or anyone just for the sake of it, unlike the Arabs.  In fact this is a pure case of seeing themselves reflected in their enemy.  Because they, the Arabs, do it routinely, they assume we do it too.

But, the IDF is controlled by the strictest rules of engagement to avoid civilian casualties in the world.  This is not just my opinion, this is the opinion of a panel of independent military experts who were brought in to examine the conduct of the IDF after the last Gaza conflict. This prestigious panel of military experts from all over the world concluded that Israel did not commit war crimes in Gaza (http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-did-not-commit-war-crimes-in-gaza-says-multi-national-military-group/).

The IDF was criticized for killing ca. 2,100 people in the last Gaza conflict.  But of these ca, 40% were combatants (though as terrorists many were not in uniform) so the total of civilians killed was ca. 1,300, which although regrettable, is in fact a small number given the extent of fighting in a very densely populated area like Gaza.  Compare this with Syria, where the number of civilians killed by their own people is staggering, so far ca. 500,000 in 5 years.  They go out of their way to kill enemy civilians, while the opposite is true of the IDF, which goes out of its way to avoid civilian casualties.





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